Research Projects and Publications

Optimization and Profitability of Hydro Power combined with Wind Power

Economics, Policy and Business Landsvirkjun Show all Wind Energy Research

Author: Egill Skúlason

Year: 2014

Supervisor: Páll Jensson, Sölvi R. Sólbergsson & Einar Sveinbjörnsson

The project was conducted in cooperation with Landsvirkjun.


Co-operation of wind and hydropower could have positive synergistic effects because of higher wind speeds in the winter and more water runoff during summer and also because water is saved while running the wind turbines instead of hydro power plants. In this study a location for wind turbines named Þröskuldar was chosen because of its reputation of being windy and also relatively close to power lines. The wind power is intended for co-operation with a proposed hydro power plant expansion of Mjólká in the West Fjords, so power can be stored as potential energy in water reservoirs. A model was built in Microsoft Excel to simulate and then optimize the operation of the power plants.
Wind data from 2012 was broken down into periods of the day, and seasons of the year and analyzed using the Weibull distribution to see the characteristics of the wind. Electricity consumption was taken into account to simulate the energy demand. The wind power was calculated for ENERCON E-44 wind turbines using its power curve. The hourly power was summed up to get the annual energy output and capacity factor. The wind energy was
optimized to substitute the hydro power and to save the water in the reservoir for dealing with power failures and fluctuations in electricity use without exceeding the natural yearly water flow to the reservoir.
The wind energy calculations look promising and the results are similar in comparison to the data from the recently erected wind turbines by Búrfell. Two turbines with the hydro power
could manage the fluctuations in energy demand. A 21 wind turbine wind farm with doubled hydro power could also fulfill the energy demand in the West Fjords and save power purchase
from other power companies. The wind and hydro power options in this study are not feasible economically with the current costs and energy prices, but should be studied further as future options.


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