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Evaluation of Small, Mini and Micro Hydro Power Potential in River Basins of Mexico

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Sergio Armando Trelles-Jasso
Integrated Water Resources Management Specialist Mexican Institute of Water Technology

Keyword(s): Small Hydro Power Potential, Distributed Hydrologic Model, Mexico
AbstractThe objective of this work has been to identify and evaluate the hydro power potential (HPP) of project sites in the Nautla, Tecolutla and Culiacán river basins in Mexico (30,000 km2), with emphasis on sites with up to 30 MW of installable capacity. The physiography of the river basins was processed with Physitel, using as input the digital elevation model, and the vector map of the stream network and water bodies. The drainage areas were discretized in relatively homogeneous hydrologic units (HU), with an average surface of 5.5 km2. For every HU the percent of each land use class present, as well as of the predominant soil texture class was determined. For the determination of mean runoff two methods were applied: a) Hydrotel Distributed Hydrologic Model, which allows the determination of the flow duration curve from daily multiyear runoff series, and b) Regional Regression Equation of Runoff as a function of Area, Mean Precipitation and Temperature. The first one was retained. The basic HPP of all stream reaches was evaluated. Then, the available HPP, after deducing the developed and excluded river reaches; as well as the feasible HPP, taking into account the access and connection distances were evaluated. Finally, the HPP of optimized penstocks, classified as Small, Mini and Micro projects was identified and evaluated. A Geodatabase with maps showing the basic HPP of streams and the optimized HPP of penstock projects, along with geographic context features waselaborated. Along the process, existing technology was adapted and new procedures generated. The entire methodology and tools are to be transferred to the Federal Commission of Electricity to complete the HPP evaluation in Mexico. Other countries could receive the full benefit of these readily available experiences.
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