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Open AccessArticle

Advances in the Definition of Needs and Specifications for a Climate Service Tool Aimed at Small Hydropower Plants’ Operation and Management

1
Fluvial Dynamics and Hydrology Research Group, Andalusian Institute for Earth System Research, University of Cordoba, 14071 Cordoba, Spain
2
Hydrology Research Unit, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SE-601 76 Norrköping, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This work is an extension of the authors’ paper presented at IEEE EEEIC 11–14 June 2019 Genoa, Italy, and is selected for publication in Energies.
Energies 2020, 13(7), 1827; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071827
Received: 5 March 2020 / Revised: 6 April 2020 / Accepted: 8 April 2020 / Published: 9 April 2020
The operation feasibility of small hydropower plants in mountainous sites is subjected to the run-of-river flow, which is also dependent on a high variability in precipitation and snow cover. Moreover, the management of this kind of system has to be performed with some particular operation conditions of the plant (e.g., turbine minimum and maximum discharge) but also some environmental flow requirements. In this context, a technological climate service is conceived in a tight connection with end users, perfectly answering the needs of the management of small hydropower systems in a pilot area, and providing a forecast of the river streamflow together with other operation data. This paper presents an overview of the service but also a set of lessons learnt related to the features, requirements, and considerations to bear in mind from the point of view of climate service developers. In addition, the outcomes give insight into how this kind of service could change the traditional management (normally based on past experience), providing a probability range of the future river flow based on future weather scenarios according to the range of future weather possibilities. This highlights the utility of the co-generation process to implement climate services for water and energy fields but also that seasonal climate forecasting could improve the business as usual of this kind of facility. View Full-Text
Keywords: small hydropower plant; river flow; seasonal forecast; energy production small hydropower plant; river flow; seasonal forecast; energy production
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MDPI and ACS Style

Contreras, E.; Herrero, J.; Crochemore, L.; Pechlivanidis, I.; Photiadou, C.; Aguilar, C.; Polo, M.J. Advances in the Definition of Needs and Specifications for a Climate Service Tool Aimed at Small Hydropower Plants’ Operation and Management. Energies 2020, 13, 1827.

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