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Enhancing hydropower modeling in variable generation integration studies


  • Ibanez, Eduardo
  • Magee, Timothy
  • Clement, Mitch
  • Brinkman, Gregory
  • Milligan, Michael
  • Zagona, Edith


The integration of large amounts of variable renewable generation can increase the demand on flexible resources in the power system. Conventional hydropower can be an important asset for managing variability and uncertainty in the power system, but multi-purpose reservoirs are often limited by non-power constraints. Previous large-scale variable generation integration studies have simulated the operation of the electric system under different penetration levels but often with simplified representations of hydropower to avoid complex non-power constraints. This paper illustrates the value of bridging the gap between power system models and detailed hydropower models with a demonstration case. The United States Western Interconnection is modeled with PLEXOS, and ten large reservoirs on the Columbia River are modeled with RiverWare. The results show the effect of detailed hydropower modeling on the power system and its benefits to the power system, such as the decrease in overall production cost and the reduction of variable generation curtailment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ibanez, Eduardo & Magee, Timothy & Clement, Mitch & Brinkman, Gregory & Milligan, Michael & Zagona, Edith, 2014. "Enhancing hydropower modeling in variable generation integration studies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 518-528.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:74:y:2014:i:c:p:518-528
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. McPherson, Madeleine & Stoll, Brady, 2020. "Demand response for variable renewable energy integration: A proposed approach and its impacts," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 197(C).
    2. English, J. & Niet, T. & Lyseng, B. & Palmer-Wilson, K. & Keller, V. & Moazzen, I. & Pitt, L. & Wild, P. & Rowe, A., 2017. "Impact of electrical intertie capacity on carbon policy effectiveness," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 571-581.
    3. Pérez-Díaz, Juan I. & Jiménez, Javier, 2016. "Contribution of a pumped-storage hydropower plant to reduce the scheduling costs of an isolated power system with high wind power penetration," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 92-104.
    4. Tian, Chuan Min & Jaffar, Mohd Narzam & Ramji, Harunal Rejan & Abdullah, Mohammad Omar, 2015. "Custom design of a hanging cooling water power generating system applied to a sensitive cooling water discharge weir in a seaside power plant: A challenging energy scheme," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 511-518.
    5. Meng, Xuejiao & Chang, Jianxia & Wang, Xuebin & Wang, Yimin, 2019. "Multi-objective hydropower station operation using an improved cuckoo search algorithm," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 425-439.
    6. Feng, Zhong-kai & Niu, Wen-jing & Cheng, Chun-tian, 2018. "Optimization of hydropower reservoirs operation balancing generation benefit and ecological requirement with parallel multi-objective genetic algorithm," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 706-718.
    7. Liu, Benxi & Liao, Shengli & Cheng, Chuntian & Chen, Fu & Li, Weidong, 2018. "Hydropower curtailment in Yunnan Province, southwestern China: Constraint analysis and suggestions," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 700-711.
    8. Feng, Zhong-kai & Niu, Wen-jing & Cheng, Chun-tian & Liao, Sheng-li, 2017. "Hydropower system operation optimization by discrete differential dynamic programming based on orthogonal experiment design," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 720-732.
    9. Dominique M. Bain & Thomas L. Acker, 2018. "Hydropower Impacts on Electrical System Production Costs in the Southwest United States," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-21, February.
    10. Feng, Zhong-kai & Niu, Wen-jing & Cheng, Chun-tian & Wu, Xin-yu, 2017. "Optimization of hydropower system operation by uniform dynamic programming for dimensionality reduction," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 718-730.
    11. Parkinson, Simon C. & Makowski, Marek & Krey, Volker & Sedraoui, Khaled & Almasoud, Abdulrahman H. & Djilali, Ned, 2018. "A multi-criteria model analysis framework for assessing integrated water-energy system transformation pathways," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 210(C), pages 477-486.


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