Pushing the limits of hydropower: an inside look at XFLEX HYDRO

Singaraja 1
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
15:30 – 16:45 WITA


The pathway to a net zero economy is posing unprecedented challenges to electric power systems; in a world dominated by non-dispatchable sources, system flexibility will be a crucial aspect that will need to be maximised and valued. Through XFLEX HYDRO, a EUR-18m research and innovation project, European owners, equipment manufacturers and energy experts have studied and implemented full-scale flexibility upgrades on hydropower plants. From variable speed to battery-turbine hybridisation, hydraulic short circuit and plant digitalisation, this session will explore the risks and rewards associated with these technologies, and the lessons that can be drawn for Europe and the rest of the world.


Session objectives

  • Explain the fundamental and growing need for systems flexibility over the next three decades
  • Present the upgrade opportunities for existing power plants studied in the XFLEX Hydro project, and the associated technical benefits
  • Present the Flexibility Matrix as a universal metric to compare and judge the flexibility of a given asset or a fleet at the national and regional level
  • Present the costs and economics of these upgrade opportunities
  • Discuss the main barriers limiting the implementation of these technologies, and present key messages for policy makers to enable and support their adoption


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