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Detecting Possible Changes in the Caroni River Hydroelectric Potential due to Climate Change

PI: Jose Miguel Perez-Godoy
Institution: Electricidad del Caroni
Additional Investigators: Jesus A. Gomez, Alfredo Gil. Ambiental, Jose M. Perez, Luis M. Mata
The Caroni river watershed is 98000 Km2 with mean annual flow over 4850 m3/seg. There are 3 power dams along the river and a fourth will be built early next year. Actual install generation capacity is about 15400 MW and mean annual energy is 70400 Gwh. This system generate over 75% of the national energy production.

In the First National Communication over Climate change, it was detected that the grills over the river basin could suffer a reduction of the rainfall between 15 and 25% for year 2100. It that were the case, it would be a national tragedy.

Electricidad del Caroni (EDELCA) a national company owner and operator of the system, wants to know the extent of the potential changes in order to take the necessary measurements to reduce and mitigate the impacts detected.

We will analyze data from several model in order to obtain the temperature foreseen changes over the river basin and consequently the changes in precipitation taking care of the models control series and the perturbed series under different climate scenarios, especially those presented in the SRES.

With the precipitation series we will perform an interpolation process with the Kriging disjunctive method. It will result in a series of monthly precipitation series divided in two sets. First from year 1950 to 2000, second from 2001 to 2100.

In previous works we have detected that there is a subestimation of precipitation presented in GCM and the real actual observed precipitation over the watershed. In that case, it will have to be scaled to actual values.

There is not a good evaporation pan coverture over the river basin, so the evaporation will have to be estimate thru indirect methods, perhaps thru temperatures and solar radiation data.

We will develop a mathematical model type LDM (Bayesian Linear dynamic Model)in order to convert water balance into runoff. We will compare results from the model with actual observation 1950-2004 and obtain runoff series 2000-2100. Statistical analysis will let to obtain and detect any possible change in the perturbed runoff series.

With the models series statistical parameters we will generate synthetic 100
years runoff series and with them and the physical parameters and restriction imposed in the Guri hydroelectric dam will simulate the power plant operation. Finally, comparison with historic simulated power generation data allows obtain the possible changes in the generation capacity.

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    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  |  Physical & Life Sciences Directorate