A robust statistical analysis of the role of hydropower on the system electricity price and price volatility

Olukunle O. Owolabi, Kathryn Lawson, Sanhita Sengupta, Yingsi Huang, Lan Wang, Chaopeng Shen, Mila Getmansky Sherman, Deborah A. Sunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hydroelectric power (hydropower) is unique in that it can function as both a conventional source of electricity and as backup storage (pumped hydroelectric storage and large reservoir storage) for providing energy in times of high demand on the grid (S. Rehman, L M Al-Hadhrami, and M M Alam), (2015 Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 44, 586-98). This study examines the impact of hydropower on system electricity price and price volatility in the region served by the New England Independent System Operator (ISONE) from 2014-2020 (ISONE, ISO New England Web Services API v1.1."https://webservices.iso-ne.com/docs/v1.1/, 2021. Accessed: 2021-01-10). We perform a robust holistic analysis of the mean and quantile effects, as well as the marginal contributing effects of hydropower in the presence of solar and wind resources. First, the price data is adjusted for deterministic temporal trends, correcting for seasonal, weekend, and diurnal effects that may obscure actual representative trends in the data. Using multiple linear regression and quantile regression, we observe that hydropower contributes to a reduction in the system electricity price and price volatility. While hydropower has a weak impact on decreasing price and volatility at the mean, it has greater impact at extreme quantiles (>70th percentile). At these higher percentiles, we find that hydropower provides a stabilizing effect on price volatility in the presence of volatile resources such as wind. We conclude with a discussion of the observed relationship between hydropower and system electricity price and volatility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075003
JournalEnvironmental Research Communications
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • General Environmental Science
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science


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