Considering the information of The Niño 3.4 index in the operation of the electrical system of Uruguay
Ruben Chaer, Rafael Terra, Alvaro Díaz, Juan Zorrilla de San Martín
International Association for Energy Economics International Conference, 33rd, (IAEE 2010). Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 6-9 June 2010, page 1--14- 2010
Research group(s):  Electronica de Potencia (gep)
Department(s):  (unspecified)
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abstract It is well known that the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon [1]– a quasi
periodic oscillation of the coupled ocean atmosphere system over the equatorial Pacific Ocean –
conditions the climate of many parts of the world, including southeastern South America. During
warm events or El Niño years, with seas surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific higher
than average, precipitation over Uruguay tends to be higher in certain seasons. Conversely,
during cold or La Niña events, it tends to rain less [2-3].
In this work, we will represent ENSO by a scalar monthly index that consists of the sea surface
temperature anomaly averaged over a box at the central equatorial Pacific called Niño 3.4 region
[4]. Observed values of the N3.4 index are available for over a century.
The goal of this paper is to show the effect that the ENSO-induced bias in the precipitation has
on the cost of energy supply in Uruguay. We further present a methodology to consider N3.4
index in the optimization tools that compute the optimal policy for the use of the water stocked in
the hydroelectric subsystem.
We present the changes in the operation of the system induced by the consideration of N3.4
index in the optimization process. We focus on the operation of the reservoir of Rincón del
Bonete because it is the biggest one in Uruguay. A case study was selected corresponding to the
time horizon from August 2009 to July 2010. At the beginning of the selected period the
development of an El Niño event was already clear and therefore more rains were expected in the
region, in particular for local spring. The evaluation of the results shows the significance of the
impact that this foreknowledge has on the operation of the system.

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» Ruben Chaer
» Rafael Terra
» Alvaro Díaz
» Juan Zorrilla de San Martín