Clean Currents 2023

A4a: Cataloging and Quantifying Additional Value Streams from Non-Powered Dam Conversion

Hydropower is a key resource in the United States’ renewable energy transition; however, only 3% of existing dams in the United States currently generate electricity. While many non-powered dams (NPDs) have the potential for energy generation, only a small portion of these sites have been developed in recent years.

This situation is likely due, in part, to perceptions that development has prohibitively long payback periods, especially in comparison to other renewable energy resources that have shorter development processes. On the other hand, powering some NPDs may unlock new value streams in addition to the value obtained from selling generated energy.

Understanding and quantifying a wider range of additional value streams is necessary to help increase the feasibility of such hydropower projects.

In this work, we catalog indirect value streams and difficult-to-quantify direct value streams from NPD retrofitting, specifying which stakeholders are affected, what kind of impacts might occur, and how different technologies/configurations might affect these value streams.

We identify appropriate quantification methodologies for these indirect value streams and describe the best practices around their implementation for NPD site-level analysis.

We also demonstrate the quantification of some indirect value streams for a given NPD case study site, allowing for easier integration of these value streams into future studies by providing a basis and background for quantifying these elements.

Presenter Information

Mark Weimar

Mark Weimar
Principal Investigator for PSH Valuation Tool
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), U.S. Department of Energy
Poster Presenter

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