Full Title: Quantifying the Value of Hydropower in the Electric Grid: Final Report
Author(s): T. Key
Publisher(s): Electric Power Research Institute
Publication Date: 2/2013


The report summarizes research to Quantify the Value of Hydropower in the Electric Grid. This 3-year DOE study focused on defining value of hydropower assets in a changing electric grid. Methods are described for valuation and planning of pumped storage and conventional hydropower. The project team conducted plant case studies, electric system modeling, market analysis, cost data gathering, and evaluations of operating strategies and constraints. Five other reports detailing these research results are available a project website, www.epri.com/hydrogrid.

With increasing deployment of wind and solar renewable generation, many owners, operators, and developers of hydropower have recognized the opportunity to provide more flexibility and ancillary services to the electric grid. To quantify value of services, this study focused on the Western Electric Coordinating Council region. A security-constrained, unit commitment and economic dispatch model was used to quantify the role of hydropower for several future energy scenarios up to 2020. This hourly production simulation considered transmission requirements to deliver energy, including future expansion plans. Both energy and ancillary service values were considered. Addressing specifically the quantification of pumped storage value, no single value stream dominated predicted plant contributions in various energy futures. Modeling confirmed that service value depends greatly on location and on competition with other available grid support resources. In this summary, ten different value streams related to hydropower are described. These fell into three categories; operational improvements, new technologies, and electricity market opportunities. Of these ten, the study was able to quantify a monetary value in six by applying both present day and future scenarios for operating the electric grid.