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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.