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This paper presents new solution methods and results based on a particle swarm optimization (PSO) for solving the hydro generation scheduling problem. Complete solution algorithms and encoding/decoding techniques are proposed in the paper. The optimal schedules of both hydro and thermal units are concurrently obtained within the evolutionary process of evaluation functions. Significantly, no hydro-thermal iteration is needed. The proposed approach is applied with success to an actual utility system, which consists of three hydro plants in cascade and 22 thermal units. The results indicate the attractive properties of the PSO approach in practical application, namely, a highly optimal solution cost and more robust convergence behavior.