Video Transcript – Advancing Lucky Peak’s Power Production Forecasting
[Kendra Kaiser, research professor, Department of Geosciences]: So I am a research professor in the Department of Geosciences. I’ve been at Boise State for about four years now, and as a research professor I find interesting topics and folks that are in the region, write proposals and then do research.
Generally, a lot of the things that I’m doing is related to applied hydrology. So doing water resources research that can be directly applied to problems that managers might have or coming up with solutions or tools or data streams that can make their jobs easier.
I started a project with Lucky Peak Power, and the project out here is focusing on modernizing the way they use data to create their power generation forecasts. And these power generation forecasts are really important for Seattle City Light, who uses this power and sends it out to the region. And previously, they had a kind of outdated mechanism of creating these forecasts to figure out what the anticipated power generation would be for anywhere from six months to twelve months out. And my role in this project is to kind of streamline that whole process, make it more reproducible and easier for the person in charge to make sure that they can get those generation reports out in an easier fashion. So rather than spending a couple of days compiling data and creating all of these reports, they’ll be able to open up the program that I develop, press run and have a report in just a few minutes.
By automating data streams, it is automating downloading metadata like weather data, so precipitation, temperature, how much snowpack is remaining in the mountains, and that data helps them determine how much water is going to be coming through the system, which then helps them determine how much power they’re going to be generating. And by knowing how much power they’re going to be generating, they can anticipate whether or not there is going to be additional needs in the region and things like that. And they can also use that data to help determine when they can do maintenance on their generators and whether or not they’re using their large generators or the small generators or which combination that they’re using.
Projects like these are a really great example of the way that Boise State can engage with the community to both bring in community problems to give us examples of how the skills that students are developing can be applied once they graduate, as well as being able to use the knowledge and the tools that we have at Boise State to improve all sorts of industry in the valley and probably in the region. So as we move forward and look for more ways to engage with the community, this is a really good example of how you can do it.