This study aims to analyze the effects of typical hydropower system operating policies and system characteristics on operational flexibility that could be used for increasing net power revenues.
Hydropower systems – river and reservoir systems with multiple hydropower plants – typically must provide some operating reserves to the grid for correcting energy and demand imbalances. But these systems may also seek to maintain some additional flexibility in order to sell extra energy if prices are high, or to avoid producing energy that they would have to sell at a disadvantage. This operational flexibility of the hydro system must comply with other operating objectives such as spill constraints and forebay target elevations. This study aims to identify operating policies that could be relaxed in order to provide profit or avoid losses, and also examines how certain river and reservoir configurations, such as lag times between reservoirs, impose natural limitations on operating flexibility.
This project began in Spring 2018 and is scheduled for completion in summer 2019.