To maximize annual power generation and to improve firm power are important but competing goals for hydropower stations. The firm power output is decisive for the installed capacity in design, and represents the reliability of the power generation when the power plant is put into operation. To improve the firm power, the whole generation process needs to be as stable as possible, while the maximization of power generation requires a rapid rise of the water level at the beginning of the storage period. Taking the minimal power output as the firm power, both the total amount and the reliability of the hydropower generation are considered simultaneously in this study. A multi-objective model to improve the comprehensive benefits of hydropower stations are established, which is optimized by Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm-II (NSGA-II). The Three Gorges Cascade Hydropower System (TGCHS) is taken as the study case, and the Pareto Fronts in different search spaces are obtained. The results not only prove the effectiveness of the proposed method, but also provide operational references for the TGCHS, indicating that there is room of improvement for both the annual power generation and the firm power.
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