International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study

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Technical Working Groups

Maximize The Value of Megawatt Production

Performance Indicator Summary

Performance indicator: Maximize Megawatt Production

Technical Workgroup: Hydropower TWG

Research by: Hydropower TWG, Synapse Energy Economics Inc.

Modeled by: PFEG in the SVM. with data provided them from the power entities.

Activity represented by this indicator: Increase electricity production during periods of high demand and reducing electricity production during periods of low demand.

Link to water levels: Water levels on Lake Ontario determine outflows. The value of electricity fluctuates according to the season (higher demand in winter and in mid-summer) and according to the hour of the day (peaking). So, the flow distribution through the year is important.

Importance: Ontario and New York have a mix of generation that includes hydro as well as nuclear and fossil fuels. Hydropower is the least costly, most dependable source of power and it does not create air emissions. When hydropower can be increased during periods of high demand and decreased during periods of low demand it reduces the overall cost of power both economically and environmentally. Quebec's source of electricity is practically 100% hydropower. As such they don't consider this PI as critical as the first PI.

Performance Indicator Metrics: Flows in excess of 7080 cms (250,000 cfs) will reduce the peaking range up to flows of 7930 cms (280,000 cfs) where peaking is no longer permitted. Historical demand for power and projected value of electricity over time will indicate when the optimum value of power will occur.

Temporal Validity: There are seasonal and hourly periods of peak and off peak demand. Spring and Fall are usually lower demand periods. Winter and Summer are considered peak periods. On a daily basis the hours of 22:00 through 06:00 are usually lower demand periods and 07:00 through 21:00 are usually high demand periods.

Spatial Validity: Electricity consumers in New York and Ontario.

Links with hydrology used to create the PI algorithm. Periods of low flow will cause reduced generation. Outflows in excess of 7,930 cms (280,000 cfs) will generate more power overall but will not allow for peaking.

Algorithm: A computer program was provided by the power entities for the Shared Vision Model to compute a dollar value of the power and takes into account all the local hydraulic parameters and the rating curves for the units.

Validation: Historical demand for power and prices are available. In addition an independent consultant, Synapse has provided their estimate of future values of generation.

Documentation and References: Synapse report to the Study Board, Historical market data, regulatory requirements to expand use of renewable resources for fuel.

Risk and uncertainty assessment: Indications are that the demand for power is expected to increase. Regulations to decrease dependence on foreign oil and to increase the use of renewable fuels are likely to cause increased prices of electricity. Climatic changes could cause lower water levels resulting in reduced water for hydropower generation. A regulation plan that causes higher outflows during periods of lower demand and vice versa could negatively impact the consumers of electricity in the New York, Ontario and Quebec markets.

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