Hybrid Storage Systems Integration: The "Integrated" research effort is evaluating the ability of run-of-river (ROR) hydropower to provide grid balancing through integration with energy storage systems, including batteries, flywheels and supercapacitors. Phase I results show that hydropower combined with energy storage systems can be as responsive as conventional hydropower. One test case demonstrated the potential for the technology to increase ROR hydropower revenue by 12 to 16 percent due to the additional services that the ROR plants could provide the grid.

Irrigation Modernization:  Irrigation water conveyance systems across the Western United States are undergoing “modernization” – a process of upgrading infrastructure and practices to meet the current and future farmer needs. In many instances co-development of hydropower offers significant benefits to the modernization process that go beyond providing electrons to the grid. These benefits can include diversifying farmers’ revenue streams, improving environmental outcomes, enhancing rural electric reliability and resilience. INL is leading a DOE effort to develop the “irrigation district of the future”, a concept that blends innovations from across the agriculture and energy domains to increase the benefits derived from irrigation systems. One example of this is integrating energy storage with the hydropower component of modernization to enable load balancing. Another piece of the innovation may be implementing a platform to enable greater farmer irrigation coordination in the context of real-time pricing for water and electricity.
Pumped Storage Hydropower Simulation: Most hydropower digital models principally account for the electrical systems (e.g. the generator, transformer, transmission system), but the hydrodynamics – movement of water through a hydropower plant – significantly impact its capabilities. INL develops models that accurately represent both important sub-systems of a hydropower plant: water and electric. This paper demonstrates co-simulation of an adjustable speed pumped storage hydro (AS-PSH) unit between penstock hydrodynamics and power system events in a real-time environment. The model enables a unique, more representative environment to test controllers and power converter hardware, which can be used to rapidly prototype a pumped storage hydropower design.