CLIM2POWER Project: seasonal forecasting for hydropower capacity in the Douro river basin – Portuguese case study

19:00 Tuesday 28 May




Pedro Beca (Portugal) 1; Sofia G. Simões (Portugal) 2; Babar Mujtaba (Portugal) 1; Paulo Diogo (Portugal) 1; Amorim Filipa (Portugal) 2; Sílvia Carvalho (Portugal) 3; Pedro Paes (Portugal) 4; Paulo Alexandre Diogo (Portugal) 5

1 - MARE - FCT/UNL - Universidade NOVA de Lisboa; 2 - CENSE - FCT UNL; 3 - CE3C FCUL; 4 - EDP; 5 - Faculty of Sciences and Technology, New University of Lisbon, MARE

Climate and meteorological conditions have a significant impact on energy demand. At the same time, energy production from renewable energy sources (RES) fluctuates seasonally and intra-seasonally. While average seasonal deviations from the mean are known and used in the power system planning, the use of seasonal climate forecasts is still incipient, as they seat in an intermediate zone between weather forecasting and climate projections. The project CLIM2POWER aims at developing a climate service (CS) including state-of-the art seasonal climate forecasts into the planning of the operation of the power systems. CLIM2POWER will deliver operator- and manager-targeted seasonal weather decision-support information on the optimal operation of hydro, wind and solar power plants operation, as well as on the implications of these operational schedules on the entire power system at a seasonal timescale. This work presents part of the project, addressed at forecasting the hydropower capacity in the Portuguese case study – the Douro river basin.

The project began in September 2017 and is ongoing. The seasonal climate forecasts are being generated and will be translated into water availability for hydropower generation in the Douro river basin. The Douro is one of the largest transboundary river basins in the Iberian Peninsula. In the Portuguese territory, it has 14 large hydropower stations (> 25MW) and 52 (< 10 MW) small ones, making a total of 2918 MW installed capacity, which represents around 50% of Portugal’s hydropower production. Rainfall-runoff modelling using hydrological models (i.e. HEC-HMS and Thornthwaite-Mather) will be the basis to configure conceptual modelling approaches to determine precipitation-runoff relationships on a reservoir watershed scale, thus enabling reservoir water balances and hydropower potential estimations. Most of the reservoirs in the Douro basin are multipurpose, therefore storage balances will be complemented with information on restrictions in reservoir operation due to non-energy needs (e.g. water supply, ecosystem services, and flood mitigation).

The changes of the European energy mix together with ongoing climate change raises several challenges on the adaptation of the hydropower energy supply system to its environment. The results of CLIM2POWER will allow optimizing the operation of hydropower plants, as well as support the management of water resources addressing issues such as storage, water transfers, environmental flows, among others. It will also provide information on the impacts on electricity prices, production constraints, operational and maintenance costs, CO2 emissions and the EU European Trading System allowances.