FLEXSTOR will test a set of innovative tools for flexible operation of storage hydropower plants in changing environment and market conditions at a complex hydropower scheme. This demostrator is motivated by the main hydropower challenge in Switzerland, namely the need for flexible operation targeting premium remuneration hours, for which comprehensive methodologies for hydropower upgrading projects are still missing.
Specific goals of FLEXSTOR are to demonstrate how to: concentrate production in less hours, while mitigating negative impacts (e.g. river up/down surges); manage reservoir sedimentation to expand storage capacity while complying with the Waters Protection Act; address mountain slope instability risks in periglacial zone, avoiding non-optimal “preventive reservoir lowering”; identify the changing demand structure and the required adaptation of the storage management; extend the operating range of hydraulic machinery, whilst avoiding instabilities; optimally manage a compensation basin in order to minimize the ecological impacts of hydropeaking in the downstream river reach.
All these developments, which are at the core of the WP2 efforts, will be validated with proof-of-concept in the complex system of KWO Oberhasli, which allows later replication to other hydropwer schemes in Switzerland. The demonstration project has now been approved by CTI and industry (1'360kCHF) and will last till end 2018.