DHI leads DSS development to help Uganda improve hydropower generation
To optimise hydropower production, the Uganda government, through the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited, has implemented a DHI-led decision-support system (DSS) to forecast water flow to Lake Victoria and in the River Nile.
Hydropower dams play a pivotal role in harnessing renewable energy from flowing water. The construction and operation of these dams can also impact flooding – a significant challenge worldwide, including in Uganda.
In a partnership with French engineering company ISL Ingénierie, DHI led the modelling work and the DSS development for the project, with the support of French development agency, Agence Française de Développement. This project was part of the EU-funded Digital Energy Facility programme, which supports innovative solutions for the energy sector.
DHI, in partnership with ISL, contributed to the following:
- Initiating data collection and organising site visits to four key hydropower plants along River Nile
- Collecting, reviewing and analysing data such as supplementary global datasets from earth observation products, as well as near real-time information on current conditions
- Developing a water balance and allocation model for short-term and seasonal forecasts using MIKE HYDRO Basin. A flood model was used to simulate the hydrology and hydrodynamic conditions downstream of the outlet of Lake Victoria. These models were complemented by a reservoir hydropower operation model and a hydropower energy optimisation model built using ISL Ingénierie’s software.
- Integrating the models into a fully operational DSS using DHI’s platform to visualise and disseminate results of the flood and flow forecasting as well as the power production. The DSS, based on MIKE OPERATIONS technology, enables automatic download and processing of earth observation and numerical weather prediction data to provide real-time, forecast and climate change scenario results to improve decision-making.
- Carrying out training sessions and workshops to ensure successful knowledge transfer and sustainability of the technology
Bertrand Richaud, project manager from DHI, says, ‘The DSS takes into account various hydrological factors such as rainfall and evaporation, and can forecast water flow patterns up to nine months in advance considering the uncertainty of such forecast. The adoption of this technology by key stakeholders in Uganda would help the decision-making process. By using science-based tools, water shortages and flooding risks can be reduced, eventually contributing to improved hydropower production in the region.’
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