Hydroelectric Power Sources by marissa harding

How It Works: Dams are built to trap water, usually in a valley where there is an existing lake. Water is flowed through tunnels in the dam, which turns turbines and thus drives generators for power.

Advantages

  • Once the dam is built, the energy is virtually free
  • No waste or pollution is produced
  • It is much more reliable than wind, solar or wave power
  • Water can be stored above the dam ready to cope with peaks in demand
  • Hydro-electric power plants can increase to full power very quickly, unlike other power stations
  • Electricity can be generator constantly

Disadvantages

  • The dams are very expensive to build. However, many dams are used for flood control or irrigation, so building costs can be shared
  • Building a large dam will flood a very large area upstream, causing problems for animals that used to live there
  • Finding a suitable site can be difficult- the impact on residents and the enviroment may be unacceptable
  • Water quality and quantity downstream can be affected, which can have an impact on plant life

Facts

  • Hydroelectric is the most commonly used renewable energy source
  • The oldest hydroelectric power plant is Cragside in Rothbury, England
  • The largest hydroelectric power plant is La Grande in Quebec, Canada
  • The first hydroelectric plant in the United States opened Sept. 30, 1882 on the Fox River near Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Niagara Falls is one of the major hydroelectric plants in the United States
  • The largest site in the United States is Grand Coulee in Washington which has 33 generators
  • World wide hydroelectric power generates enough electricity to meet the needs of 28.3 million people
  • In the United States, over half of the electricity generated from hydroelectric power is concentrated in Washington, Oregon, and California
The Grand Coulee in Washington

Works Cited

  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/45846171@N04/8084687025
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/90536753@N00/364272639
  • http://www.darvill.clara.net/altenerg/hydro.htm
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/32426344@N00/9905646414

Credits:

Created with images by _gee_ - "hoover dam" • andyarthur - "Dam" • theslowlane - "Canal to Banks Lake"

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