Case Study: Connecticut River Operations Model

Connecticut River Operations Model

FirstLight Power Resources (Connecticut River, Northfield, MA)


Gomez and Sullivan developed a reservoir operations model for the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project and Turners Falls Hydroelectric Project as well as three upstream TransCanada Projects on the Connecticut River to support the FERC relicensing process. Gomez and Sullivan staff worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers to enhance an existing basin-wide model developed using the HEC-ResSim program to more accurately reflect physical plant data and operating rules at six hydroelectric projects along the mainstem Connecticut River. Daily inflow data developed by the USGS’s Connecticut River UnImpacted Streamflow Estimation (CRUISE) tool was converted to an hourly time step to simulate the peaking operations of the projects. Hourly log sheet data (including streamflow, reservoir elevation, and generation data) from a 10-year period were digitized and analyzed for operating trends using time series, duration curves, box plots, and other statistics. Gomez and Sullivan also coordinated with technical staff at FirstLight to gain a more thorough understanding of how the projects are operated. The resulting calibrated model is being utilized to evaluate the effects of potential proposed changes to project operations.