The Role of Headwater Benefits in Hydropower Planning

by Ernest E. Sligh, FERC, USA,
Hong Tung, FERC, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Power '87


Headwater benefits are the power benefits that accure to owners of downstream hydroelectric plants as a result of the operation of headwater improvements. The retention of water in upstream reservoirs during periods of high streamflows and the subsequent releases during low-flow periods usually enable downstream plants to utilize more of the total streamflow. The increased usable flows result in additional generation or energy gains. Headwater benefits are directly related to energy gains. The headwater benefits assessment process is a procedure by which the owners of hydroelectric projects, which benefit from the operation of improvements, share in the cost of the construction and maintenance of the upstream improvements. The amount of sharing is dependent upon both the amount of additional energy generated because of the streamflow regulation and the cost of the upstream project.

Subject Headings: Hydro power | Owners | Construction costs | Power plants | Rivers and streams | Reservoirs | Low flow | Streamflow

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