Pilot 7.4 | Hydropower in snow reservoir – climate service

Pilot 7.4 | Hydropower in snow reservoir – climate service

In most basins in Scandinavia and Finland, more than 50 % of the annual precipitation falls as snow. Errors in snowmelt timing and melt rate simulations are one of the largest sources of stream flow prediction errors in snowmelt-dominated watersheds. Thus snow storage and melting periods have a significant impact on hydropower production reservoirs. Forecasts of reservoir inflow and energy prices are used to schedule the quantity and timing of releases for daily, weekly, and seasonal operations. Ingestion of Earth Observation (EO) based snow observations can significantly reduce hydrological model snowpack simulation uncertainties. The use of EO based snow observations offer two main types of advantages: 1) EO based snow observations are independent from point scale observations (usually used to drive hydrological models), and 2) they provide basin wide information and data on the state of the snowpack as opposed to point scale observations. Tools to assess snow ablation period model and associated forecast uncertainties as well as systems for information dissemination into existing decision support mechanisms requires further development.

/ Objectives
  • Decreasing the vulnerability of energy companies to variations in meteorological and hydrological conditions through improved seasonal forecast products is the main expected impact of the project.
  • The methodology for determining snow conditions using coarse resolution EO data (for hydropower optimization) is already available. The main objective is to derive higher resolution and higher quality products, using Sentinel-1/-2/-3 data, to improve timeliness and information content.
  • End-user tailored products on hydrological conditions will be disseminated to the key end user; Kemijoki Oy. A particular focus will be placed on snow reservoir energy potential. The key diagnostics are reservoir inflow and snow reservoir energy potential, which together with other factors is a measure of stored hydropower potential.
  • EO based snow water equivalents will be used to assess model forecast uncertainties
/ Partners


/ Key Users

Hydropower Companies (Kemijoki Oy, Finland)

/ Key Datasets

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE), Snow Depth (SD), snowmelt rate and timing, surface runoff, soil column inter-, and base-flow, river discharge as well as reservoir inflow at end-user specified locations.  

/ ID Card
Expected outcome of the pilot

The outcome of the pilot will be a dedicated web service providing:

  • Monthly 90-day seasonal ensemble forecasts of streamflow and hydropower reservoir inflow at end-user (Kemijoki Oy) selected forecast points. A particular focus will be placed on snowmelt driven runoff forecasting.
  • Daily 10-day deterministic forecasts (incl. nowcasts and hindcasts) of streamflow and hydropower reservoir inflow at end-user (Kemijoki Oy) selected forecast points. In addition to streamflow forecasts, the service will provide maps of numerous other key hydrological variables used in Hydropower production optimization and general water management operations.
  • A unified web service combining data from various other external sources in a single user interface allowing the user to assess forecasts uncertainties by comparing information derived from an FMI hydrological model (HOPS) with external observations and estimates – a particular focus will be placed on providing EO-based observations and in situ measurements of snow conditions and soil freeze/thaw states.

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