In-Conduit Hydropower Business Case Assessment Tool

The In-Conduit Hydropower Business Case Assessment Tool
Water systems in California have a large, untapped potential to recapture energy with in-conduit hydroelectric generation. However, the actual number of in-conduit hydropower projects operating in the state is relatively small, mainly because of a lack of information on the upfront costs and the economic benefits of the technology.
 
To help municipal, agricultural, and industrial water districts, utilities, and other stakeholders assess the costs and benefits of developing in-conduit hydropower generation projects, the California Energy Commission contracted with Stantec, NLine Energy and Stanford University to develop the In-Conduit Hydropower Business Case Assessment Tool.
 
The tool allows operators and managers to easily evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of proposed in-conduit hydropower projects by:

  • Assessing the hydropower potential at specific sites.
  • Recommending suitable in-conduit hydropower technologies.
  • Estimating preliminary life-cycle capital and operations and maintenance costs.
  • Determining potential greenhouse gas emissions.

A presentation from a 2019 CEC webinar detailing how the tool works is available on YouTube and above. Additional information is also in a CEC report titled, “California’s In-Conduit Hydropower Implementation Guidebook: A Compendium of Resources, Best Practices, and Tools,” that is expected to be available in the spring on CEC’s Publication Database System.  

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