HYDRO+ Series – Market Trends: Adapting Hydropower for Changing Conditions


The growing penetration of variable renewables into the global electric power market affects the hydroelectric power industry in a variety of ways, leading to an entirely new operating regime for the equipment and plants, as well as demand to provide services needed for grid support. Add this to significant variabilities in weather patterns and “fuel” availability, and hydro plant owners and operators face a brave new world. During this educational webcast, two technical papers will be presented, focused on the theme of adapting hydropower for changing conditions.

For the first presentation, the speaker will dissect the uncertainty between hydrology, energy values and unit outages in determining the biggest drivers on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ national modernization initiative. The Corps uses this initiative to prioritize improvements at its hydroelectric facilities on a capital level.

Secondly, the pace of change of society’s demands has accelerated with its mobility, and this has pushed hydropower to adapt and evolve in ways not imagined by equipment designers even 10 years ago.  A massive mindshift has to take place to accept that equally nimble digital technologies can be leveraged to get out ahead of the curve.  Today’s digital asset management capabilities coupled with condition monitoring and advanced data analytics can bring world-class predictive maintenance capabilities to even the most modest operations to assure the assets are optimized uniquely and individually to their changing environment.

Speakers and Topics:

F. John Etzel, Deputy Director, Hydroelectric Design Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (moderator)
Mark Parrish, Senior Mathematician, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: An Early Exploration into the Drivers of Uncertainty in Long Term Hydropower Investments
Brent T. Ward, Digitalization/IIoT/4.0 Solutions Expert, and Tomas Jutbo, Director of Integrated Reliability Solutions, Voith Group: Predictive World Class Asset Management: The Ultimate Hydropower Mindshift Challenge

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