Comprehensive Assessment, Tools and Resources for Advancing In-Conduit Hydropower in California
Comprehensive assessment of in-conduit hydropower generation potential in California to assist municipal, agricultural, and industrial water purveyors
Projects Updates/The Results
The project team estimated the in-conduit hydropower potential in California by analyzing data collected by NLine Energy, results from a questionnaire prepared by the team and distributed to various water agencies, as well as crossing data from USGS, DWR and SWRCB database. The estimate concluded that while there is at-least 343 MW of installed in-conduit hydropower facilities in California as of 2017, there is 414 MW of remaining potential. The team also conducted eight case studies, which identified that small in-conduit hydropower projects should consider multiple scenarios at the feasibility stage to investigate different hydrologic conditions, and interconnection costs can vary considerably. The final report and assessment tool were presented in a webinar attended by more than 200 people.
This project conducted a comprehensive assessment of in-conduit hydropower generation potential in California and developed a guidebook and a business case assessment tool that assist municipal, agricultural, and industrial water purveyors with the cost effective implementation of in-conduit hydropower generation projects. The proposed guidebook and the business case assessment tool will provide invaluable knowledge base for municipal (water and wastewater), agricultural and industrial agencies that are considering capturing hydrokinetic/hydrostatic energy and integrating in-conduit hydropower into the existing energy mix. The Business Case Assessment Tool will assist users with building a business case for implementation of an in-conduit hydropower project, providing qualitative and quantitative guidance on the system configuration and site characteristics for fit-for-purpose applications, and estimating preliminary life cycle cost, LCOE, and GHG emissions.
The development of a clear, concise and transparent guidebook for assessment of in-conduit hydropower in California will enable electricity ratepayers to benefit from effective deployment and avoid the risk of failed projects. Developing the tools for evaluating the economic and environmental impacts of in-conduit hydropower generation will help ensure that projects are cost-effective and reduce costs for California ratepayers.
Deployment of in-conduit hydropower could provide a source of capacity and renewable energy that contributes to resource diversity and electrical system reliability. California has the potential to install 414 MW of in-conduit hydropower across 450 different locations.