Columbia Basin Hydro Forecasting

2011 Seasonal runoff forecasts for the Columbia River at Grand Coulee Dam, The Dalles, Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River and Albeni Falls Dam on the Pend Oreille are available and will be sent on a weekly schedule beginning in December. HyMet forecasts have proven to be as accurate and more informative than alternative forecasting methods.

The Columbia Basin has the capacity to generate over 36,000 megawatts of renewable energy each hydro year. Depending upon current kwh pricing, stream flow volumes, combined with several other factors, the basin provides $30-50 billion to the energy market annually. Managing these fluctuations successfully requires precision hydro forecasting; increasing operational planning accuracy and minimizing trading risk.

Streamflow Forecasting Service
Generation Forecasting Service

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Columbia River Flows The HyMet Stream flow Forecasting service has been providing reliable forecasts of seasonal inflow of the Columbia River for eight years for distribution to public and private utilities, energy traders and investment banks. These forecasts are distributed by email on a weekly schedule from early December to mid- September.

The HyMet forecasting model uses daily observations of precipitation, temperature and runoff to produce these forecasts. Our Combined Columbia Weekly Forecasts at Grand Coulee, The Dalles and Lower Granite Dams contain detailed charts and tables of forecast hydrograph and basin water storage, which includes snowpack and groundwater storage. Basin water storage is distributed according to altitude to improve the accuracy and timing of the forecasts.

The Columbia River is the largest hydroelectric producing basin in Western North America. The 55 hydroelectric dams on its main stem and tributaries have the capacity to generate 300 billion Kwh of renewable energy annually, valued at $30—50 billion on the current energy market.

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HyMet is also providing weekly forecasts of hydroelectric energy generation produced at the thirteen hydro projects operated by Federal Agencies in the Columbia Basin.

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RELIABLE FORECASTS OF POWER GENERATED BY FEDERAL HYDRO PROJECTS

The thirteen federally owned and operated hydroelectric projects on the Columbia River produce an average of 8700 MW of energy annually. The energy production can vary greatly as the system operation responds to changing hydrology, non-Power requirements, electricity demands and energy market values.

Our Forecasting Service provides accurate, up –to-date projections of the hydroelectric energy from these projects in the days, weeks and months ahead.


ACCURACY: AVERAGE ABSOLUTE ERROR FOR ONE WEEK FORECAST DURING THE 2008 SEASON WAS 15%
  • WEEKLY AND MONTHLYFORECASTS THROUGH THE END OF WATER YEAR
  • STATISTICAL CONFIDENCE LIMITS, HISTORICAL ERROR RECORD
  • R-SQUARED PROVIDED WITH EACH FORECAST
  • FORECASTS AVAILABLE FOR 1 TO 300 DAYS IN ADVANCE WITHIN A WATER YEAR

Yearly Forecast

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