PRESS RELEASE – Dialogue on “Optimizing the inter-reservoir operation for hydropower by a decision-support system”

On May 20, 2022, the Vietnam Initiative for Energy Transition (VIETSE) cooperated with the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF), and a group of experts on Water and Environment from the Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI) successfully organized the Dialogue on “Optimizing the inter-reservoir operation for hydropower by a decision-support system” with the interest and participation of nearly 100 listeners, including policies’ planners, representatives of businesses, technical staff, and researchers inside and outside the country.

Opening the Dialogue, Mr. Hoang Van Dai – Deputy Director of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF), gave an overview of real-time forecasting data of the reservoir system in Vietnam. According to Mr. Hoang Van Dai, our country does not have a real-time forecasting system to serve the operation of hydropower reservoirs. Due to the complex nature of the operating system, to meet the real-time forecast, it is necessary to set up an automatic decision-support system, including (i) Monitoring system; (ii) Information acquisition system; (iii) Simulation analysis system; and (iv) Sample scenario system (rain, flood, operation). Having input data on water flow in the river basin and reservoir water level accurately will support hydropower operation managers to have the basis for analysis and assessment, from which to have reasonable flood-saving scenarios. Assessing and predicting water changes with high accuracy in reservoirs should be considered the goal of the digital development of water resources management and meteorological forecasting agencies, serves to make efficient water use decisions for the nation’s hydroelectric system.

The presentation of the representative of NCHMF highlighted the current status of the inter-reservoir operation process, related legal documents, technologies and algorithms capable of improving inter-reservoir operation efficiency. In order to improve the efficiency of electricity production, prevent natural disasters and improve the ability to meet water demand for multi-purposes, it is necessary to develop a decision-support system for inter-reservoir regulation. The NCHMF representative proposed the following solutions:

•     Set up a monitoring/observation system that collects real-time data

•     Set up super short-term, short-term, medium-term and long-term forecasting analysis system

•     Establish an integrated system of hydro-meteorological analysis, monitoring and forecasting to support real-time reservoir operation

•      Integrate a system for monitoring and operating the reservoir in real-time

•      Provide river/stream hydrology and operation information for disaster prevention

Following, Dr. Tran Khanh Viet Dung represented the Vietnam Initiative for Energy Transition (VIETSE) with a presentation showing the vital role of hydropower in the Vietnamese power system. The research team pointed out that hydropower with a total capacity of about 22 GW and an output of more than 70 TWh in 2021 accounts for about 28% of the power source structure by installed capacity and 30% of total commercial power output. From 2010 to now, the Prime Minister of Vietnam has signed the Decision promulgating the Inter-reservoir Operation Procedures for 12 rivers (Dong Nai River, Red River, Srepok River, Se San River,…). Hydropower is considered a renewable energy source, capable of flexibly operating, and suitable for the peaking mode of the load graph, especially in the power source structure of the power system with a proportion of solar power and wind power capacity increasing day by day.

Also, in the Dialogue, Mr. Jakob Luchner – Hydrological Engineer at the Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI), shared some international experiences in optimizing the operation of hydropower reservoirs. The international experience of dealing with practical challenges in the inter-reservoir operation shows that applying an automated algorithm model helps policymakers obtain regulatory scenarios based on science to increase the accuracy of executive decisions. At the same time, applying this model can ultimately increase electricity output by 2-4% while ensuring safety for people in downstream areas. The DHI representative shared that automatic optimization can analyze many input parameters and make the most suitable decisions and scenarios for operation in the shortest real-time possible for inter-reservoir water regulation. He emphasized that this core point makes automatic optimization highly suitable for complex inter-reservoir systems. However, the results of the optimization should be based on the priority conditions, according to the flood or dry season, the accuracy of the satellite data and the actual monitoring data of the flow in the basin and energy needs.

The discussion session was exciting, with many practical issues in the operation of inter-reservoir hydropower in Vietnam raised among the speakers and a large audience attending the event. Participating in the discussion session were the following delegates:

–     Mr. Phan Duy Phu – Deputy Head of Hydropower Projection, Department of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Industry and Trade;

–     Mr. Cao Hoang Anh – Representative of the Department of Industrial Safety and Environment, Ministry of Industry and Trade;

–     Dr. Mai Van Khiem – Director of the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting;

–     Mr. Nguyen Quoc Chinh – Deputy Head of Technical – Production Department, Electricity of Vietnam;

–     Mr. Vu Xuan Khu – Deputy Director of the National Load Dispatch Center;

–     Mr. Trinh Quang Tien – Deputy Director of Hydropower Consulting Center, Power Construction Consulting Joint Stock Company 1;

–     Dr. Nguyen Duc Nghia – Department of Hydropower and Renewable Energy, Faculty of Engineering, Thuy Loi University;

–     Mr. Duong Quoc Vinh – Representative of the Danish Institute of Hydrodynamics in Vietnam;

–     Mr. Jakob Luchner – Representative of the Danish Institute of Hydrodynamics;

With the discussion from policymakers, experts, and business operating managers in hydropower, the Dialogue brought listeners helpful information. Readers can refer to the presentation of the speakers attached here.