Focus Areas

Hydropower

Guiding use of water resources for safe and reliable power generation

Increasing pressure on water resources has driven hydropower operators to look for ways to more effectively meet economic, environmental and social demands. The RTI Center for Water Resources specializes in translating data into actionable information to guide decision-making throughout all phases of hydropower planning and operations. With more than 30 years of experience, we support public and private hydropower operations of all sizes within the United States and in countries around the world, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Duke Energy, New Brunswick Power, Panama Canal and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

What is Hydropower?

Hydropower is power from water. It is one of the first renewable energy sources to be harnessed and remains a mainstay of many power company portfolios. This clean fuel source is the leading renewable source for electricity generation globally and supplies a large percent of all renewable electricity.

Similar to many renewable sources of energy, hydropower generation ebbs and flows with the variability of the water supply. Power generation is dictated by natural runoff either directly or released from storage. Ample rain and snow melt upstream can produce substantial electrical output. Droughts, on the other hand, can leave plants without sufficient water.

Note that this definition was taken from this page: https://www.rti.org/insights/hydropower-wave-renewable-energy

Hydropower Services

Hydropower Operations Planning
Whether you’re planning a greenfield hydropower development or an upgrade of an existing plant, understanding water resources conditions, ecological impacts and economic tradeoffs are critical to determining a hydropower project’s feasibility. Our team of experts applies an integrated, comprehensive approach to support hydropower developers and owners in hydro-planning.

Dam Safety and Risk Assessment
Dam safety and the associated downstream risks are two of the hydropower sector’s greatest concerns. Our experts in dam safety, risk assessment and consequence can help dam owners understand their hazards, plan for emergency response and prioritize capital improvements to reduce risk.

Reservoir Operations, Optimization, and Forecasting
Effectively managing hydropower reservoir operations requires balancing multiple, often competing, objectives. We use advanced modeling, forecasting and optimization techniques to translate hydrologic data into actionable information to maximize hydropower generation, manage high-flow events safely, meet regulatory requirements and reduce costs.

Contact Us to Learn More

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