Hydropower producer Sunnhordland Kraftlag AS (SKL) will take advantage of its significant flexibility through smart production planning, increasing revenue from power generation with the help of Volue’s Smart Generation software suite.
Jul 7, 2022
Perched high above the spectacular Hardanger fjord in the west of Norway, the iconic Folgefonna glaciers are among the largest in Norway. The meltwater from the glaciers is bottled at the source and sold as Isklar, the well-known Norwegian water brand.
The meltwater also goes down into the hydropower system of Sunnhordland Kraftlag AS. Founded in 1946, SKL has been bringing stable and sustainable electricity to the region for more than 70 years.
But in recent years, the glaciers have been melting, creating inflow challenges for the hydropower producer. Sunnhordland Kraftlag already deals with some of the wettest weather in Norway with precipitation of up to 4000 mm per year.
Fortunately, SKL’s hydro reservoirs are highly flexible and can store huge amounts of water.
Now, the hydropower producer will use Volue’s Smart Generation software suite to extract the full value of its flexible portfolio.
“We will continue to focus on profitable growth within renewable hydropower generation, and in parallel develop SKL to become an even more optimal and efficient, pure power generation company,” says John Martin Mjånes, CEO of SKL.
Because of the melting glaciers, inflow forecasting is especially important for optimising SKL’s energy production.
With Volue’s Smart Generation software, Sunnhordland Kraftlag will find out how much water is expected to come into the reservoir system every hour over the next two-week period.
“Inflow is the fuel supply for a hydro producer. Therefore inflow forecasting is important for SKL as they need to make sure they can handle the water optimally,” says Nils Olav Tangvik from Volue.
The Smart Energy solution will also help Sunnhordland Kraftlag improve its seasonal planning of hydropower generation.
“So far this has been handled by SKL by almost emptying their reservoirs before the heavy inflow season, and by filling the reservoirs to the allowed maximum during wet periods and before the dry winter season,” says Nils Olav Tangvik.
Volue’s Smart Generation will change this. The solution will prepare long-term inflow forecasts by using a mix of weather forecasts and historical weather data as input. Combined with the long-term price forecast from Volue Insight, it will suggest how reservoir storage should be best-utilised week-by-week throughout the year.
This planning cycle will help the hydropower producer get higher value out of the water on a yearly basis. At the same time, SKL will contribute to power market stability by producing more when demand (and power prices) are high, all the while making sure there is enough water in the reservoirs to keep producing electricity during the dry winter period.
Sunnhordland Kraftlag AS (SKL) was founded in Stord, Norway in 1946 as regional cooperation to ensure stable and sufficient access to electric power to Sunn- and Midthordland. Later, the collaboration was expanded to include Nord-Rogaland (Haugalandet).
Today, SKL faces new challenges in developing the company further through several exploratory hydropower projects.
Power production is and always has been SKL's most important activity. SKL currently owns and operates a total of 20 power stations, and has an ownership share in several others. Total output is 716 MW, and hydropower production is about 2,700 GWh in a nominal year.
60% of the production comes from the Blådalsvassdraget (Blåfalli) in Matre in Kvinnherad municipality. Here, around 30% of the catchment area is covered by the Folgefonna glaciers.