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Operations and maintenance

The challenge

Innovative approaches to the operations and maintenance (O&M) of hydropower facilities are needed to ensure optimal performance.

Poor operations and maintenance, through a lack of investment, inadequate training or outdated approaches, can cause high forced outage rates, performance losses and increased operating costs. This can lead to lost energy production, reduced revenues and in some cases result in dam safety and environmental concerns.

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As new industry standards are introduced, hydropower developers and operators in all regions are seeking more efficient, cost-effective methods for maintaining their existing hydropower assets.

The ongoing revolution in the digitalisation of control systems to enhance operations and reduce maintenance costs, coupled with the need to balance other variable renewable technologies such as wind and solar, is helping to drive innovation in O&M for the hydropower sector.


Our strategy and action

IHA is disseminating knowledge on innovation in operations and maintenance.

We are supporting members to better understand and exchange information on good practices in O&M for both existing and future hydropower plants. This will enable hydropower operators to enhance performance, reduce maintenance costs and integrate with other renewables through the operational flexibility and energy storage which hydropower can offer.

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By preparing research briefings and hosting webinars, we are helping the global hydropower sector to understand and adapt to the digitalisation revolution in O&M.

In addition, we are working with the World Bank on case studies illustrating good practice in O&M in developing countries, where there may be a lack of hydropower capacity and limited finance.


Recent activities

To learn more about our recent activities, read our Activity and Strategy Report for 2018-2019.

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Join the network

Members interested in exchanging experiences and best practices on operations and maintenance can join our Asset Management Knowledge Network


Hydropower Pro

IHA members can access the knowledge network in Hydropower Pro, our online member community.

In the online group, network members can connect with each other, exchange experiences and access essential resources, briefings and case studies.

For any questions, please contact IHA senior analyst Bill Girling at

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