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Hydropower Extending Power System Flexibility

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - XFLEX HYDRO (Hydropower Extending Power System Flexibility)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2021-02-28

The overall objectives to demonstrate solutions to build a low carbon and climate resilient future for the energy system mix are the following:
- To demonstrate how to increase the potential of the hydroelectric technologies in providing flexibility to the electric power system while achieving an improved average annual overall efficiency of the hydroelectric machinery, providing high availability of the hydroelectric power plants and further maximising their performances;
- To demonstrate the system integration methodology of hydroelectric technology solutions such as fixed and variable speed, pump power regulation, battery hybridisation, advanced monitoring and digitalisation, and to draw the roadmap for the deployment of this system integration to all kinds of European hydroelectric power plants of all sizes; being existing, uprated or new.
In addition to the management and ethic main objectives, these overall objectives will be achieved along the three innovation, demonstration and deployment actions, Figure 1.
The course overview of the project work packages is described in Figure 2. All the tasks scheduled during the first 18 months have been successfully undertaken.
As it is detailed in the public deliverable "D2.1 - Future power system operation from the hydro perspective: flexibility services, technologies and scenarios", the ancillary service matrix, Figure 3, has been providing an innovative synthetic mapping of new opportunities in the decarbonization plans of the economy, see public deliverable "D2.2 - Business use cases for the provision of flexibility services by hydropower".
The design of the SPPS, Smart Power Plant Supervisor, methodology to integrate advanced hydroelectric technology solutions, including advanced monitoring, control and communication with all the hydropower plant functional levels to increase the availability, flexibility and lifespan of the units and the ancillary services provision to the grid, has been achieved by defining all components, required information and control blocks, see Figure 4.
The Z'Mutt Pumped Storage Power Plant demonstrator goal is to show the capability of the variable speed technology to increase flexibility and to provide more ancillary services to the grid. Z’MUTT is part of the Grande Dixence hydroelectric scheme in Switzerland, Figure 5. It features 4 main storage pumps and a 5th reversible unit, regulating the glacier water inflow, to be replaced by a 5 MW Francis type variable speed pump-turbine. The initial studies have been successfully performed and the unit installation is in progress, Figure 6.
The Frades II Pumped Storage Power Plant demonstrator goal is to show the potential of a variable speed combined with Hydraulic Short Circuit operation mode, see Figure 7, to further improve the average annual overall efficiency, the performance the maintenance intervals to minimize the outage time. In Portugal, Frades II is featuring 2 reversible pump-turbines coupled to variable speed motor-generators of 780 MW total nominal power.
The Grand Maison Pumped Storage Power Plant demonstrator goal is to show the potential of Hydraulic Short Circuit operation mode combined with advanced control to further enhance provision of ancillary services to the grid. In France, Grand Maison is the largest Pumped Storage Power Plant in Europe with 1'800 MW generating capacity and 1'240 MW pumping capacity. The 950 m head PSP is featuring 4 Pelton turbines located at ground level and eight 950 m head pump-turbine reversible units located 50 m below ground level. The scheduled initial studies were undertaken, Figure 8.
The Alqueva Pumped Storage Power Plant demonstrator goal is to evaluate low CAPEX opportunities to extend the operating range and flexible services offered with the help of the Hydraulic Short Circuit operation mode coupled with an innovative and encompassing unit control system. In Portugal, Alqueva, Figure 9, is featuring 2 powerhouses, Alqueva I and Alqueva II, each equipped with 2 fixed-speed reversible Francis pump-turbines of 520 MW total nominal power.
The goal of the demonstrator Alto Lindoso and the follower Caniçada storage hydropower plants is to evaluate low CAPEX opportunities to extend services offered by an existing SHP equipped with Francis turbine units and compare them to a variable speed conversion. In Portugal, Alto Lindoso, see Figure 10, is featuring two 317 MW Francis Turbine of 288 m maximum head and Caniçada is featuring two 35 MW of 121 m maximum head.
The demonstrator Vogelgrün run of river power plant goal is to evaluate the battery hybridization opportunity to extend services offered by an existing power plant. In France, Vogelgrün is featuring four 35 MW Kaplan Turbine of 12.5 m maximum head. The hybridization shall provide improved grid services while reducing wear and tear and keeping the technology competitive. The battery size optimisation and hybrid controller algorithm have been successfully performed, Figure 11.
The coordination and the definition of a common framework of implementation and operation of the demonstrators is important to draw a roadmap for enhancing the potential of all the European hydro fleet. The final objective is to deliver a technical white paper providing the guideline to enhance the potential of a HPP based on the demonstrated innovative technological solutions and flexibility services. The timeline of the demonstrator implementation has been standardized and KPI, have been defined to highlight the potential of each technology.
Both the "D11.1 - Common methodology to assess costs of hydroelectric flexible has been issued technologies" and "D11.3 - Market hypothesis and cost-benefit analysis methodology for hydroelectric flexible technologies" public deliverables have been issued for the industrial deployment in Europe.
All along the first 18 months, dissemination and communication of the activities and outcomes of the project has been performed, see
Particular attention has been paid in the management of the coordination of effort among all the partners and to ensure the project compliance with the ethics requirements.
The progress beyond the state of the art, expected results until the end of the project and potential impacts defined in the Grant Agreement is still relevant. The project progress to enhance the hydropower potential and its capability to provide flexibility services to the grid is significant by demonstrating innovative methodology for system integration of hydroelectric technology solutions and analyse their impact on the modern power market. These innovative solutions enable to also optimise maintenance intervals, decrease outage times and increase the availability of the entire European hydroelectric power plant fleet.
The SPPS, Smart Power Plant Supervisor, Integration in the Hydroelectric Unit Control Path
Alqueva Pumped Storage Power Plant, Portugal.
Alto Lindoso Storage Hydropower Plant and Dam, Portugal.
Overview of the XFLEX HYDRO work packages.
WP9 Team first meeting at Vogelgrün, France, 2019.11.14.
Frades II HSC, Hydraulic Short Circuit, operation extending the power range.
Map of the XFLEX Hydro Demonstrators.
Ancillary services matrix.
XFLEX Hydro main objectives.
Installation of Z'Mutt Unit 5, Switzerland.
WP6 Team First meeting at Grand Maison, France, 2019.11.12