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Power Grid is facing a tremendous change characterized by many challenges. Future grid will definitely be a complex system hard to study, analyze and design with traditional, analytical and rule based approaches. In this context it is clear that in the design of future smart-grid, simulation in support of design and Hardware In the Loop methods will have a key role. In this paper we present the actual structure of the Automation of Complex Power System laboratory and future planned expansion to support the development of new automation concepts for future smart grid.