Idaho National Lab study finds HydroForecast can improve hydropower earnings by 3-6%

Maintaining minimum flows, limiting generation ramp rates — these constraints and others can impact the ability of a hydropower asset to maximize revenue. But some constraints have little to no impact on revenue while supporting recreation and the environment. How can we find the sweet spot and can better inflow forecasts help?

A team at Idaho National Lab lead a research effort to create a hydropower flexibility valuation tool to explore tradeoffs between different proposed regulatory operating constraints and their potential impact on revenue at a hydropower plant.

Upstream Tech shared our forecasts with the research team to test if improved reservoir inflow forecasts could enable operators to meet additional constraints while maintaining or increasing revenue. The study found that during the highest revenue months, using HydroForecast increased asset revenue by 6.4% over operations informed by a persistence forecast — almost as much as if the operator had perfect foresight into future inflows!

Read the paper here.