In 2012 EPRI completed a collaborative two-year research project entitled Quantifying the Full Value of Hydropower in the Electric Grid for the Department of Energy. The objective of this project was to use industry-proven analyses and modeling methods and tools at unit, plant, system, and regional/national levels over multiple time scales to quantify and maximize the benefits provided by conventional and pumped-storage hydroelectric projects to transmission grids. The project included the following tasks:
- Prepare industry case studies;
- Establish a wide-area modeling approach & foundational scenario;
- Evaluate national hydropower participation in ancillary services markets;
- Analyze systemic operating constraints on hydropower resources;
- Develop data base of current & projected cost elements for alternative pumped-storage & conventional hydropower development options;
- Develop & computing scenario simulations for Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) projects;
- Determine the effects of alternative policy scenarios on the value of hydropower;
- Define new methodology for planning & applying hydropower assets to support integration of variable renewables; and
- Reporting Dissemination of results.
Hydropower projects provide capabilities that are well-suited for addressing the power system integration of other renewables. However, the actual costs and benefits from hydropower projects are not fully recognized under existing policies and market structures.
From this project, utilities with existing or planned hydropower will gain understanding of the costs and benefits for providing ancillary services under different future scenarios including high levels of renewable integration. Results will also be useful in formulating policies and regulations, for developing fair markets, and for investing in energy and transmission infrastructure to ensure energy security and to address climate change concerns. Uses include: quantifying benefits provided by conventional and pumped storage hydro projects to the transmission grid, validating a power and market systems model, analyzing scenarios, and examining the implications of alternative market structures.
As a result of this project, ten reports were made available to the public through suport of the Department of Energy.
Electric Power Research Institute
Sandia National Lab
Oak Ridge National Lab