A Multi-Dimensional Analysis of Seasonal Hydropower Generation and Pumped Energy Storage in an Alberta Irrigation Network
I compared three new seasonal hydropower generation (summer) and pumped energy storage (winter) projects within existing Alberta irrigation infrastructure to evaluate their environmental and economic value. I used the historical irrigation flow rates, power pool pricing, and ancillary market data to determine the range and variability of the potential energy production, greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigations, and determine the expected economic rate of returns. The energy storage was analyzed under three separate operating modes: energy arbitrage, regulating reserve, and spinning reserve market. All projects had a positive economic return, however, the only positive energy storage returns occurred when the energy storage was operating on the spinning reserve market. Furthermore, the energy storage operation was found to be a net emitter of GHGs, although the irrigation seasonal hydropower generation more than offset these emissions, and each project resulted in a net reduction in GHG emissions.
Pearson, K. M. E. (2022). A Multi-Dimensional Analysis of Seasonal Hydropower Generation and Pumped Energy Storage in an Alberta Irrigation Network (Unpublished master's project). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.