Monday, April 7, 2014

Western Hydro Power Outlook: Lower Stream Flow Outlook

Hydroelectric output has declined in the pacific northwest, and it is now below 2013 rates.  The stream flow forecast for the BPA region has declined about 700 million acre feet, or just under 1%, to 104.9% of normal.  That is above 2013 actuals, which were about 100% of normal.

BPA hydroelectric generation:

Columbia river stream flow forecast, million acre feet:

California hydro power output is still about 25 GWh per day below last year:

Meanwhile the Colorado river basin snowpack continues to build, much above last year and slightly above the historical average snow/water equivalent:

But the two large reservoirs on that system, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, have water levels far below last year, which directly impacts head pressure and therefore electrical output per acre foot of water released.