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How it Works

How Does Hydroelectricity Work?

Types of Hydropower Facilities

Impoundment Hydropower:
Uses a dam to store water. Water may be released either to meet changing electricity needs or to maintain a constant reservoir level.

Diversion Hydropower:
Channels a portion of the river through a canal or a penstock but may require a dam.

Pumped Storage:
Pumps water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir at times when demand for electricity is low. During periods of high electrical demand, the water is released back to the lower reservoir to generate electricity.