Reservoir Operational Planning of Irrigation Dams for Micro-Hydropower Development (A Case Study Conducted on Haiba Micro-Irrigation Earth Dam in Tigray Regional State)

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Addis Ababa University


Modern forms of energy are simply not available in rural areas of Ethiopia, while traditional sources such as fuel wood, cow dung, and crop residue are being depleted rapidly thereby deepening the rural energy crisis. Compared with other new and renewable sources of energy, micro-hydropower has been recognized as being a viable and mature technology. It can be applied immediately on an economic scale in a flexible manner and can comparatively easily bring benefits to the population in isolated areas, who are so far not covered by national electricity supply grid. About 84 percent of the Ethiopian people reside in rural areas and less than one percent of this population has access to electricity. However, a number of micro- irrigation dams have been constructed and planned for implementation, especially in Tigray and Amhara Regional States which could generate and provide electricity to the local population. A case study regarding reservoir operational planning had been conducted on Haiba dam, which is one of the fully implemented micro-irrigation earth dams in Tigray Regional State so as to integrate it with micro-hydropower. Accordingly a number of objectives were accomplished like formulation of discrete dynamic programming model, collecting, processing and analyzing meteorological data, collecting and preparing input data for the DP model. A Visual Basic Program was written to solve the DP model. The main results obtained were monthly energy output, energy output duration curve and optimal reservoir operation guide curve. The optimal power output of Haiba reservoir has an electrification capacity of 50 to 650 households each using one light bulb of 40w each. The results of this study showed that it is possible to produce a valuable amount of electric energy that is very useful in electrifying the rural community, from micro-irrigation dams without affecting its irrigation service by applying systems engineering as a planning tool. Based on the findings, conclusions and recommendations for further studies are drawn