Programme OS4i Water and energy
Evaluation of Small, Mini and Micro Hydro Power Potential in River
Basins of Mexico
Author(s): Sergio Armando Trelles-Jasso
Integrated Water Resources
Mexican Institute of Water Technology
Keyword(s): Small Hydro Power Potential, Distributed Hydrologic Model, Mexico
Session: OS4i Water and energy
The objective of this work has been
to identify and evaluate the hydro power potential (HPP) of project sites in the Nautla, Tecolutla and Culiacán river
basins in Mexico (30,000 km2), with emphasis on sites with up to 30 MW of installable capacity.
physiography of the river basins was processed with Physitel, using as input the digital elevation model, and the
vector map of the stream network and water bodies. The drainage areas were discretized in relatively homogeneous
hydrologic units (HU), with an average surface of 5.5 km2. For every HU the percent of each land use class present,
as well as of the predominant soil texture class was determined.
For the determination of mean runoff two
methods were applied: a) Hydrotel Distributed Hydrologic Model, which allows the determination of the flow
duration curve from daily multiyear runoff series, and b) Regional Regression Equation of Runoff as a function of
Area, Mean Precipitation and Temperature. The first one was retained.
The basic HPP of all stream reaches
was evaluated. Then, the available HPP, after deducing the developed and excluded river reaches; as well as the
feasible HPP, taking into account the access and connection distances were evaluated. Finally, the HPP of optimized
penstocks, classified as Small, Mini and Micro projects was identified and evaluated.
A Geodatabase with
maps showing the basic HPP of streams and the optimized HPP of penstock projects, along with geographic context
Along the process, existing technology was adapted and new procedures generated.
The entire methodology and tools are to be transferred to the Federal Commission of Electricity to complete the
HPP evaluation in Mexico. Other countries could receive the full benefit of these readily available