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This paper presents a discussion of the various approaches to model validation of power system models used in planning studies. It focuses on present approaches and emerging methodologies, particularly for validation of power system components/equipment. Results are presented for the current practice of component model validation (i.e. validation of single power plant models, or FACTS devices, etc.). Then it is shown how some of these techniques might be used to extend current approaches to consider system wide model validation. Finally a discussion is presented on future trends in planning and operational studies to meet the needs of the North American power system.