The power companies use many different digital tools to prevent flooding. This year, TrønderEnergi doesn't expect major damages from the spring floods.
One of the main partners of the power company is Powel, which has developed into a leading supplier of innovative software solutions for energy producers and energy traders throughout Europe.
“It is a combined inflow forecasting tool we have used over the last couple of years, which we are particularly pleased with. It combines historical temperature and precipitation data over 60 years with today's long-term weather forecast to create several scenarios for inflow. This, for predicting the potential flood hazard several months ahead,” says Frode Vassenden, hydrologist at TrønderEnergi.
Must balance energy prices against flood risk
Powel’s solutions help electricity producers leverage their energy resources in the best possible way and thereby increase their profits. An important element is good inflow forecasts. Another is to optimise production against probable future energy prices. It is also crucial for society to get the most electricity from the already existing energy infrastructure.
“We want to prevent floods that cause damage to nature and properties in the long run. Meaning that we are able to store water in reservoirs and thereby reduce the natural peak flow in the river. At the same time, we naturally want to maximise the profit. This year it looks very good. There is flooding now, but we are pretty sure we will avoid any flood that causes damage. Snowmelt, especially in the lowlands, has progressed gradually,” says Vassenden.
Various specially developed digital tools help the power companies make the right decisions. This is combined with the professional knowledge of many of the experienced employees at TrønderEnergi.
“The tools present different probability scenarios that we can use to analyse the situation. In the short term, the forecasts are very accurate. In the long term, we have several scenarios to choose from. But they nevertheless give a clear direction and confidence in the planning job,” says the hydrologist.
Climate change affects electricity production
In Trøndelag, Vassenden has experienced that winters have become warmer, which leads to more precipitation as rain.
“We can generate more evenly and avoid the big floods, which means loss of money. However, if the requirements for dam safety change, this may in return lead to increased expenses. How climate change may affect us in the future is difficult to tell,” he says.
In general, TrønderEnergi believes that they help reduce the risk of flooding by regulating the watercourse. In addition, digital tools help them to plan better and get the highest possible price for water energy. Powel is constantly working on new tools to optimise electricity production and sees a market that is constantly on the lookout for solutions that can increase profits and societal safety.
“Our combination forecasting tool has provided electricity producers a boost in terms of long-term production planning. In addition, we have recently become part of the Volue Group, which aims to become a leading technology provider for the green shift in Europe. This includes increased focus on market analysis and automated solutions as an important part of the initiative,” says Beate Sæther, Product Manager at Powel.