A handbook and series of case studies on hydropower operations and maintenance (O&M) has been published by the World Bank to help enhance the efficiency and reliability of the worldwide hydropower fleet.

The development of the handbook and case studies was supported by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and its member organisations, providing real-life examples of O&M strategies in practice.

María Ubierna, IHA’s Hydropower Specialist and Research and Policy Team Focal Point, welcomed the World Bank publication and said the association was delighted to contribute. “Global decarbonisation efforts rely on the hydropower fleet continuing to provide vital generation, flexibility and storage services to electricity systems,” she said. “Access to this essential handbook and case studies will help owners and operators to optimise and maintain their facilities to fully realise the benefits of hydropower to the grid.”

The publication is intended to be used by asset owners, facility and utility managers, decision-makers in government, utility operators, private developers, independent power producers and financial institutions, including development banks.

Its recommendations aim to help optimise hydropower station performance while also safeguarding the natural environment and local communities. It defines basic principles and provides examples of the consequences of inadequate O&M policies, programmes and procedures.

The case studies from public utilities and private companies in Brazil, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda and Uruguay are structured around the strategies described in the handbook.

Pierre Lorillou, Senior Hydropower Specialist at the World Bank, said: “A lack of O&M strategies and resources often results in frequent and severe outages, which can result in high costs, losses of valuable electricity, and sometimes a threat to the sustainability of hydropower facilities. We hope that this handbook will support preparing such strategies and mobilise resources where deemed necessary.”

The handbook was developed following the World Hydropower Congress in Ethiopia in May 2017, when delegates agreed on the need for a tool to support the preparation of O&M strategies for countries with limited capacity and a challenging business environment.

The six case studies are:

  • Statkraft Energias Renovaveis, Brazil
  • Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant, Liberia
  • Kainji-Jebba Hydropower Complex, Nigeria
  • New Bong Escape Hydropower Project, Pakistan
  • Nalubaale-Kiira Hydropower Complex, Uganda
  • Salto Grande Hydropower Complex, Uruguay/Argentina


Source: International Hydropower Association