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Analysis of the effects of biases in ensemble streamflow prediction (ESP) forecasts on electricity production in hydropower reservoir management


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Arsenault, Richard et Côté, Pascal. 2018. « Analysis of the effects of biases in ensemble streamflow prediction (ESP) forecasts on electricity production in hydropower reservoir management ». Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, vol. 23, nº 6. pp. 2735-2750.

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This paper presents an analysis of the effects of biased extended streamflow prediction (ESP) forecasts on three deterministic optimization techniques implemented in a simulated operational context with a rolling horizon test bed for managing a cascade of hydroelectric reservoirs and generating stations in Québec, Canada. The observed weather data were fed to the hydrological model, and the synthetic streamflow subsequently generated was considered to be a proxy for the observed inflow. A traditional, climatology-based ESP forecast approach was used to generate ensemble streamflow scenarios, which were used by three reservoir management optimization approaches. Both positive and negative biases were then forced into the ensembles by multiplying the streamflow values by constant factors. The optimization method's response to those biases was measured through the evaluation of the average annual energy generation in a forward-rolling simulation test bed in which the entire system is precisely and accurately modelled. The ensemble climate data forecasts, the hydrological modelling and ESP forecast generation, optimization model, and decision-making process are all integrated, as is the simulation model that updates reservoir levels and computes generation at each time step. The study focussed on one hydropower system both with and without minimum baseload constraints. This study finds that the tested deterministic optimization algorithms lack the capacity to compensate for uncertainty in future inflows and therefore place the reservoir levels at greater risk to maximize short-term profit. It is shown that for this particular system, an increase in ESP forecast inflows of approximately 5 % allows managing the reservoirs at optimal levels and producing the most energy on average, effectively negating the deterministic model's tendency to underestimate the risk of spilling. Finally, it is shown that implementing minimum load constraints serves as a de facto control on deterministic bias by forcing the system to draw more water from the reservoirs than what the models consider to be optimal trajectories.

Item Type: Peer reviewed article published in a journal
Arsenault, Richard
Affiliation: Génie de la construction
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2019 19:36
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2019 17:32

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