by Clement, M., T. Magee, J. Taylor, and E. Zagona (2014). "Incorporating Complex Mid-Columbia Operations into a Hydropower Optimization Model." In Proc. HydroVision International, Nashville, TN, July 22-25, 2014. 


The “Mid” portion of the Columbia River is made up of seven hydroelectric projects with a system capacity upward of 14,000 MW passing a flow of 180,000 cubic feet per second for a nominal annual output of 38,000 GWh of energy. The magnitude of output drives the quest for even the smallest percentages of efficiency increase. In competition with this tremendous capability are constraints driven by environmental and water management objectives. Reliably meeting the constraints associated with all river activities is essential to ensuring future hydroelectric production from this resource. The Mid-Columbia projects are using RiverWare, a river system and hydropower modeling tool to incorporate their complex operating policy in a hydropower optimization model. The goal programming solution in RiverWare is used to model policy that includes dynamic flow constraints that adjust to seasonal requirements and current conditions, prioritized drafting of reservoirs, and coordination between federal and non-federal projects to meet multiple participants’ generation requests. An automated run each hour uses inputs from current river conditions and up-to-date forecasts to model operations for the next 72 hours. When fully implemented, hourly operational runs of the model will inform operators of calculated optimal actions resulting in efficiency improvements and the reliable compliance with non-power related obligations.