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Plan 2012 flow changes will be smaller, benefiting hydropower

More predictable changes in flow releases will benefit hydropower. Under Lake Superior Regulation Plan 2012 month-to-month flow changes will generally be smaller than they were with Plan 1977A. Although not featured in the Study Board’s main decision criteria, this is a secondary performance indicator for hydropower producers. More than 90 percent of the monthly flow changes under Lake Superior Regulation Plan 2012 will be less than 320 m3/s (11,300 ft3/s) as opposed to 500 m3/s (17,656 ft3/s) for 1977A. Annual flow range is reduced with the recommended plan as well: only 21 percent of historical simulation years would experience a range more than 1,000 m3/s (35,315 ft3/s), compared to 41 percent for Plan 1977A. More predictable changes in flow releases benefit hydropower producers, and lower flow changes result in fewer gate openings and closings, thus saving labour costs.
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