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Evaluation of Peaking and Ponding Strategies at the St. Marys River Hydropower Plants

Mark Lorie;
Investigated the relationship between Lake Superior monthly outflows and peaking and ponding operations conducted by St. Marys River hydropower plants through modeling of peak and off‐peak flows, hydropower energy, and the value of energy produced; modeling the impacts of peak and off‐peak flows on commercial shipping; and formulating and evaluating peaking strategies, including changing the assumptions about how peaking operations work, and testing two new ideas, water banking and increased hydropower capacity. Results suggest peaking operations benefit both power companies and society by producing more hydropower when demand and prices are highest, but results were relatively insignificant compared to monthly regulation impacts. Peaking was also found to have little impact on commercial shipping. However, the greater the spread between peak and off‐peak prices, the more valuable peaking operations are, and so an adaptive approach that adjusts to changing energy prices may be useful.
Evaluation of Peaking and Ponding Strategies
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Supporting Content (Show)
Main Topics
Lake Superior Regulation
Questions We Asked
Can a regulation plan be designed to perform better than Plan 1977A?
What constitutes improved plan performance?
View all 3 questions we asked
Does the plan benefit hydropower?
Hydropower Evaluation