Energy Systems

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 7–30 | Cite as

Multi-usage hydropower single dam management: chance-constrained optimization and stochastic viability

  • Jean-Christophe Alais
  • Pierre Carpentier
  • Michel De Lara
Original Paper


We consider the management of a single hydroelectric dam, subject to uncertain inflows and electricity prices and to a so-called “tourism constraint”: the water storage level must be high enough during the tourist season with high enough probability. We cast the problem in the stochastic optimal control framework: we search at each time t the optimal control as a function of the available information at t. We lay out two approaches. First, we formulate a chance-constrained stochastic optimal control problem: we maximize the expected gain while guaranteeing a minimum storage level with a minimal prescribed probability level. Dualizing the chance constraint by a multiplier, we propose an iterative algorithm alternating additive dynamic programming and update of the multiplier value “à la Uzawa”. Our numerical results reveal that the random gain is very dispersed around its expected value; in particular, low gain values have a relatively high probability to materialize. This is why, to put emphasis on these low values, we outline a second approach. We propose a so-called stochastic viability approach that focuses on jointly guaranteeing a minimum gain and a minimum storage level during the tourist season. We solve the corresponding problem by multiplicative dynamic programming. To conclude, we discuss and compare the two approaches.


Stochastic optimal control Chance constraints Stochastic viability Dynamic programming Hydroelectric dam management Energy management 



The authors thank Electricité de France Research and Development for initiating this research through the CIFRE PhD funding of Jean-Christophe Alais and for supplying us with data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Christophe Alais
    • 1
  • Pierre Carpentier
    • 2
  • Michel De Lara
    • 3
  1. 1.ArtelysParisFrance
  2. 2.UMA, ENSTA ParisTechUniversité Paris-Saclay 828Palaiseau cedexFrance
  3. 3.Université Paris-Est, CERMICS (ENPC)Marne-la-ValléeFrance

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