New research cooperation between Norway and China represents major opportunity

“Great contribution to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate issues”

In June, the collaborative project between Norwegian and Chinese partners, IntHydro, will officially start. The project represents a major opportunity for Smart Innovation Norway to enter the Chinese market.

“The main objective of the IntHydro project is to define and validate intelligent hydropower scheduling using machine learning techniques. The scheduling methodology will address shortcomings in existing hydropower scheduling models to deal with uncertainties brought by the high share of variable renewable energy resources in both Norwegian and Chinese power systems,” says Dr. Xiaomei Cheng, Senior Researcher at Smart Innovation Norway.

Research cooperation with benefits

She was responsible for the IntHydro (Intelligent dispatching and optimal operation of cascade hydropower plants based on spatiotemporal big data) application together with Prof. Bernt Bremdal and Hossein Farahmand at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) on behalf the Norwegian side. In early 2020, it became clear that the Norwegian Research Council had granted a total funding of NOK 10 million for the project.

“The evaluators considered that, as two of the main hydropower production countries in the world, Norway and China, the proposed research cooperation will definitely make bilateral benefits to the hydropower scheduling technology development. This will also have great contribution to reduce the carbon emissions and mitigate climate issues,” notes Joseph Negreira, Section Head International Research at Smart Innovation Norway.

Entering the Chinese market

There are four Norwegian partners and three Chinese partners in the IntHydro project. Smart Innovation Norway is one of the scientific partners and will lead four work packages. In addition, Smart Innovation Norway will participate in the other tasks to improve the methodology and explore more opportunities for development.

Dr. Xiaomei Cheng, Senior Researcher at Smart Innovation Norway

“IntHydro will provide Smart Innovation Norway with an opportunity to showcase and further develop our skills in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence in energy sectors, especially hydropower stations. Furthermore, it represents a major and initial opportunity to enter into the Chinese market that is becoming strategic for us,” comments Dr. Cheng (photo).

Improved hydropower scheduling

The project starts in the beginning of June 2020 and will last for three years. During that time, IntHydro will address the challenge of how to handle short-term and long-term uncertainties in optimal hydropower scheduling.

“A key impact of the IntHydro project will be the theoretical and practical validation of improved hydropower scheduling. This includes all the steps of scheduling ranging from long term to short-term strategies. The methodology will contribute to improve the accuracy of hydropower scheduling. This leads to more efficient prices in the electricity market which benefits the whole power system sector,” says Dr. Cheng.

IntHydro partners


  • Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet (NTNU) including its Hydro Center
  • Lyse Produksjon AS
  • Østfold Energi AS
  • Smart Innovation Norway



  • Hohai University
  • NanJing Nari Water Resources and Hydropower Technology Company, Ltd
  • Yalong River Hydropower Development Company, Ltd