1I3: Fish Inclusion: Hydropower Design for Safe Fish Passage
July 13, 2022
Water and Environment (including Social Issues)
Accommodating fish protection requirements while supporting and simplifying hydropower generation is a challenge with conventional hydropower turbines. Turbines which are not designed to pass fish safely require fine exclusion and bypass infrastructure, in addition to onsite effectiveness validation studies and even shutdowns during peak migration seasons to ensure connectivity for migrating fish. The increasingly significant influence that fish protection is having on hydropower operations emphasizes the value of considering fish protection at the design stage of new technology development. Inclusion of fish passage requirements in the design of hydropower turbines and facilities can maximize fishery management and energy generation outcomes. This talk will describe the fish inclusion approach as applied to the design of the Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT), and the results of through-turbine passage studies validating its performance for key North American fish species: rainbow trout, American eel, and alewife. We will explain how turbine design can address the critical need for safe and expedient downstream fish passage, as part of a broader vision for sustainable hydropower development.