Economic Analysis of Low Head Hydropower Projects

by J. Stephen Newton, CH2M Hill, Montgomery, AL, USA,
H. Stephen Stark, CH2M Hill, Montgomery, AL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '85


A typical low head hydropower project is described and used as an example of the effect of tailwater on power generation. The discharge characteristics of upstream facilities, pool regulation requirements, and the effect of various levels of discharge on the tailwater are evaluated. Methods for predicting project output and relating average daily flow to net generation are described and discussed. The economic and financial analysis of a hydropower project depends on an assessment of the value of the power in the market place. The project economics are analyzed in relation to the utility's planned generation mix. Due to the long life of a hydropower project, the need for life cycle cost analysis is discussed.

Subject Headings: Economic factors | Head (fluid mechanics) | Hydro power | Tailwater | Power plants | Construction management | Water flow | Value engineering

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