Energy Systems

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 325–357

Regional energy markets and the cost of natural flow dam operation


    • Energy Center at Discovery ParkPurdue University
  • P. V. Preckel
    • Energy Center at Discovery ParkPurdue University
  • D. J. Gotham
    • Energy Center at Discovery ParkPurdue University
  • B. H. Bowen
    • American University in Kosovo
  • Z. Yu
    • EmberClear, Inc.
Open AccessOriginal Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s12667-011-0039-4

Cite this article as:
Sparrow, F.T., Preckel, P.V., Gotham, D.J. et al. Energy Syst (2011) 2: 325. doi:10.1007/s12667-011-0039-4


With the proliferation of electricity markets for the purchase and sale of firm and non-firm power and capacity, the possibility exists for using trade in these commodities to minimize the cost impact of operating dams to restore downstream flows to pre-dam patterns—so called Run of River (ROR) dam operation. We examine the impact of such markets on the incremental costs of ROR operation relative to least cost operation via a stochastic, dynamic optimization model. We identify features of the dam structure and of the economic environment that are critical to achieving ROR operation at modest incremental cost.


Run of river Hydroelectric dam operation and capacity expansion Stochastic optimization

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011