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Low Head/Low Power Hydropower Resource Assessment of the Pacific Northwest Hydrologic Region

By Power Hydropower, Douglas G. Hall, Gregory R. Carroll, Shane J. Cherry, Y D. Lee and Garold L. Sommers


An analytical assessment of the hydropower potential of the Pacific Northwest Hydrologic Region was performed using state-of-the-art digital elevation models and geographic information system tools. The principal focus of the study was the amount of low head (less than 30 ft)/low power (less than 1 MW) potential in the region and the fractions of this potential that corresponded to the operating envelopes of three classes of hydropower technologies: conventional turbines, unconventional systems, and microhydro (less than 100 kW) technologies. To obtain these estimates, the hydropower potential of all the stream segments in the region, which averaged 2 miles in length, were calculated. These calculations were performed using hydrography and hydraulic heads that were obtained from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Elevation Derivatives for National Applications dataset and stream flow predictions from a regression equation developed specifically for the region. Stream segments excluded from development and developed hydropower in th

Year: 2002
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