Developing tools for optimizing the U.S. hydropower fleet’s power and environmental performance.

Sandia engages in strategic planning for optimization of the U.S. hydropower fleet. Our analytical tools allow operators and planners to conduct both long-term and short-term optimization of multiple objectives including power performance, water resiliency, and environmental protection.

Water Use Optimization Toolset

The Water Use Optimization Toolset integrates water availability, hydro-forecasting, environmental performance, and other simulations to allow for analysis of economic and environmental implications of hydropower operations. Using these modeling tools,which were jointly developed by Sandia National Laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, operators and planners can improve power generation and environmental performance.

Sandia’s primary contribution to the Water Use Optimization Toolset is the development of HydroSCOPE, a hydropower simulation and optimization tool that couples simulations of water quality and quantity with optimization software. This tool allows operators, planners, and policy makers to strategically align daily operations with seasonal objectives. HydroSCOPE users  can select to use simulation mode or optimization mode. Simulation mode enables users to simulate individual parameters to explore system behavior and unique scenarios, while optimization mode allows users to compare multiple variables such as power production and water flow for multi-objective system optimization.

ParetosHydroSCOPE is a coupled one-dimensional reservoir and river routing model that simulates reservoir and river temperatures, power production, revenue, and in-stream river conditions, as a function of forecasted inflows, meteorological conditions, and reservoir operations. Internally, HydroSCOPE is capable of simulating:

  • Heat balance,
  • Reservoir withdrawal dynamics,
  • Reservoir inflow dynamics,
  • Density Mixing,
  • Diffusion Mixing, and
  • River Routing.

Contact: Tom Lowry –