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A Decision Support System for Optimizing Reservoir Operations Using Ensemble Streamflow Forecasts (ESP)

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  • The presentation discusses the economic value of Ensemble Streamflow Predictions (ESP) streamflow and energy price forecasts in the operation of the Jackson Hydropower Project in western Washington. A decision support system (DSS) was constructed for this multipurpose reservoir system for the evaluation of operational alternatives and improvement of operational procedures. The DSS is composed of two integrated operating models: a simulation model that replicates general operating rules for the hydropower system and captures the daily fluctuations and constraints in the system and an optimization model that refines operations based upon forecasts of state variables such as streamflow and energy price forecasts. The DSS uses an ensemble streamflow forecast and energy prices to generate a range of optimal reservoir releases that maximizes the economic value of the hydroelectric power, while meeting regulatory and operational requirements. Forecasts of streamflow and energy prices are used to schedule the quantity and timing of reservoir releases for daily, weekly, and seasonal operations while maintaining the project in accordance with regulatory constraints for flood control and environmental flows. Streamflow forecasts influence reservoir operations in that they are used to determine the quantity of water available for hydroelectric power generation and environmental releases while energy price forecasts help identify periods in which generation is optimal. The research evaluated the extent to which these forecasts can enhance reservoir operations in terms of economic benefits. The economic value of improvement in skill is evaluated through comparison of the revenue generated from using different combinations of retrospective or “perfect” and available forecasts of streamflow and energy prices. The use of ensemble streamflow forecasts also provides operators with additional information on the probabilistic distribution of storage levels of the project. The results from the investigation show how the decision support system can be used for the evaluation of operational alternatives and improvement of skills in operating the reservoir system.
  • Presented at The Oregon Water Conference, May 24-25, 2011, Corvallis, OR.
  • KEYWORDS: decision support system, simulation and optimization models, reservoir operations, ensemble streamflow predictions (ESP), streamflow forecasting
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