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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Value of pumped-storage hydro for wind power integration in the British Columbia hydroelectric system Rivas Guzman, Humberto Andres


In the next few years, the province of British Columbia will experience the installation of significant amounts of wind power as part of BC Hydro calls for clean renewable energy resources. The inherent variability and uncertainty of wind power will impact the operation of the BC Hydro system. If the system loses some of its flexibility in the process of integrating more wind power, there are costs that need to be assessed and recognized. Of particular interest are the costs associated with incremental wind reserves to manage wind variability and the cost associated with foregoing day-ahead market opportunities due to the wind forecast error. Pumped-storage hydro systems have been proposed as a good technology to complement wind generation due to their ability to manage wind energy imbalances over time. This research investigated the feasibility of expanding an existing hydropower system by installing a pumped-storage hydro system to mitigate the impacts of integrating wind in a large scale hydro system. This study proposed the installation of an additional pump station, equipped with automatic generation control capabilities. Two optimization models were developed to assess the benefits of the pumped-storage hydro system and the impacts of wind integration: A long-term mixed integer optimization, and a short-term stochastic linear optimization models to simulate BC Hydro short-term operations considering different load and wind stochastic scenarios. Both models are an extension of the BC Hydro Generalized Optimization Model (GOM), which is a deterministic linear optimization model that has been used to assess many capital investments and water use planning studies for the BC Hydro system. The model proposed in this research included a stochastic extension of GOM. Optimization runs of the BC Hydro’s hourly system operation for one year, with and without the pumped-storage hydro system were carried out and their outcomes were compared to estimate the overall benefits of the pump-storage system. The results indicated that there are benefits of installing a pumped-storage hydro system in the BC Hydro system to manage and to reduce wind power integration impacts. The benefits increased as more wind power is installed in the BC Hydro system.

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