Argonne National Laboratory

Water Use Optimization Toolset/Conventional Hydropower Energy and Environmental Systems

Water Use Optimization Toolset/Conventional Hydropower Energy and Environmental Systems

As persistent drought conditions reduce water reservoirs around the country to historic lows, and as the demand for energy continues to grow in communities served by hydropower, it becomes critical to use our valuable hydro resources as efficiently as possible.

Argonne is leveraging its 25+ years of hydropower modeling and simulation experience to support DOE’s Water Power Program in developing new methods and tools for optimization and valuation of hydropower resources. The Water Use Optimization Toolset (WUOT) is a suite of four integrated tools that can be used to optimize hydropower planning and performance and has the unique capability to simultaneously optimize water, power, and environmental performance. For this project, Argonne is leading a multi-laboratory team that includes, in addition to Argonne, the Pacific Northwest and Sandia National Laboratories.

Argonne is developing the tool focusing on day ahead scheduling and real-time operations, the Conventional Hydropower Energy and Environmental Systems (CHEERS) model. Building on the Argonne team’s experience developing other modeling tools and performing power systems analyses around the globe, CHEERS is a next-generation model which takes a new unique approach and incorporates many “wish-list” features that have been expressed by model users over the years. From the beginning CHEERS was designed not simply as an academic research tool, but also as a practical daily-use tool to help actual hydropower schedulers make decisions that increase hydropower efficiency and the value of power generation and ancillary services. Its development was guided and continues to be refined by feedback from a hydropower industry technical review committee as well as the schedulers who will use it on a daily basis. CHEERS is currently being applied to four different hydropower system sites in Colorado, California, Washington and Maryland.