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This paper presents a mixed approach to schedule and assess the design of hydropower systems. It is composed of a simulation tool that considers the full detail of the operation of the system, while it follows as closer as possible the objectives proposed by a medium term mathematical programming model that considers the whole hydrothermal system in the electricity market. The simulation tool also allows considering forced outages, to permit the assessment of different design options for new assets or for considering the repowering of old ones. The test case considered in this paper is a realistic one, in which different price profiles and power capacity scenarios are evaluated. Finally the maximum generation flow and number of turbines of a new hydro power plant is assessed considering the reduction of spills and the energy production against installation costs.