Programme  OS4i Water and energy  abstract 787

Evaluation of Small, Mini and Micro Hydro Power Potential in River Basins of Mexico

Author(s): Sergio Armando Trelles-Jasso
Integrated Water Resources Management Specialist Mexican Institute of Water Technology

Keyword(s): Small Hydro Power Potential, Distributed Hydrologic Model, Mexico

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Session: OS4i Water and energy
AbstractThe 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

features waselaborated.

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


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