Centre for Development Economics
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics


Operating rules and sediment management for hybrid run-of-river/peaking capacity hydroelectric plants


R. David Simpson
RDS Analytics, LLC

Former Director, Ecosystem Economic Studies
National Center for Environmental Economics
 United States Environmental Protection Agency


10th January 2019 (Thursday) at 3:00 PM

Venue : Seminar Room (First Floor)
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics

All are cordially invited

The loss of hydroelectric reservoir capacity to sediment accumulation is a serious problem in much of the world. Hydroelectric plants are typically classified as either “reservoir” or “run-of-river” (RoR) facilities. A reservoir facility stores water during the rainy season so as to be able to generate more power in the dry season. The allocation of stored water for dry-season power production has been extensively explored using the tools of dynamic optimization.

There is also a sort of hybrid system: RoR plants with small reservoirs for daily peaking. Such plants store only enough water to run their turbines for a part of the day, and allocate daily flows during the dry season to meet peak daily electricity demand. During the rest of the year, they operate as conventional RoR plants. In this work I consider the optimal allocation of daily peaking capacity, deriving a sort of peak-load pricing rule relating the value of power generated during peak and off-peak periods. I also nest the solution to the daily-timestep optimization problem into an annual-timestep optimization to characterize expenditures on sediment management.

This inquiry is motivated by work I have been doing on sediment management at the Kali Gandaki A Hydroelectric Plant in Nepal, and I will illustrate findings with some results calibrated for that facility.


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