Within the electric power literature the transmission expansion planning problem (TNEP) refers to the problem of how to upgrade an electric power network to meet future demands. As this problem is a complex, non-linear, and non-convex optimization problem, researchers have traditionally focused on approximate models of power flows. Existing approaches are often tightly coupled to the approximation choice. Until recently, these approximations have produced results that are straight-forward to adapt to the more complex (real) problem. However, the power grid is evolving towards a state where the adaptations are no longer easy (e.g. large amounts of limited control, renewable generation) that necessitates new optimization techniques. In this paper, we propose a local search variation of the powerful Limited Discrepancy Search (LDLS) that encapsulates the complexity of power flows in a black box that may be queried for information about the quality of a proposed expansion. This allows the development of a new optimization algorithm that is independent of the underlying power model.