On the economics of ramping rate restrictions at hydro power plants: Balancing profitability and environmental costs

Shilei Niu, Margaret Insley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of ramping rate restrictions imposed on hydro operations to protect aquatic ecosystems. A dynamic optimization model of the profit maximizing decisions of a hydro operator is solved for various restrictions on water flow, using data for a representative hydro operation in Ontario. Profits are negatively affected, but for a range of restrictions the impact is not large. Ramping restrictions cause a redistribution of hydro production over a given day, which can result in an increase in total hydro power produced. This affects the need for power from other sources with consequent environmental impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy Economics
Volume39
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aquatic ecosystems
  • Electricity
  • Hydro-peaking
  • Hydroelectrical power
  • Q400
  • Q590
  • Ramping rate
  • Thermal generation

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