Evaluation of Hydro-Kinetic Impacts to Existing Water Delivery and Power Infrastructure

Project ID: 7317
Principal Investigator: Josh Mortensen
Research Topic: Water Operation Models and Decision Support Systems
Priority Area Assignments: 2014 (Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation), 2015 (Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation), 2016 (Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation)
Funded Fiscal Years: 2014 and 2015
Keywords: canal, hydrokinetic power generation, hydropower, impacts, infrastructure, water delivery system

Research Question

What are the impacts of hydrokinetic power generation on existing Reclamation water delivery systems and hydropower plants?

Need and Benefit

As hydrokinetic technologies continue to develop, there is an increased interest from private developers and other entities to demonstrate and even permanently install their technologies in Reclamation canals and other facilities. This is especially true in a political climate that promotes new renewable energy sources. It is vital that Reclamation understands the impacts these developments will have on its infrastructure. Understanding these impacts will allow Reclamation to protect its ability to effectively deliver water, efficiently produce power, and potentially use this new technology effectively in conjunction with routine operations.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Evaluation of Hydro-Kinetic Impacts to Existing Water Delivery and Power Infrastructure (final, PDF, 865KB)
By Josh Mortensen
Publication completed on September 30, 2016

A numerical tool is being developed to predict impacts from hydrokinetic power generation unit installations in canal systems. This tool, which utilizes HEC-RAS, was calibrated using physical measurements from field tests of a hydrokinetic installation on Reclamation's Roza Main Canal near Yakima, WA. Further development of the predictive numerical tool will continue in 2017.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20