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A mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) model for scheduling of the short-term integrated operation of a series of price-taker hydroelectric plants (H-GENCO) along a cascaded reservoir system in a pool-based electricity market is presented. The objective of the H-GENCO can be either to maximize profit, taking into account technical efficiency, or to maximize technical efficiency, maintaining a profit level. In both cases, the efficiency can be accurately obtained using the “Hill diagram” supplied by turbine manufacturers. A multiple nonlinear regression analysis of the unit's technical efficiency is estimated as a quadratic function of net head and water discharge. Several case studies of realistic dimensions are described, where results indicate that a profit-based MINLP produces better results compared to an MILP model, on the other hand, higher efficiencies and water savings are obtained in the efficiency-based model.