A Renewable Energy Type
There are two methods for generating electricity from hydropower. The first, and by far the most common, is the use of flowing water to rotate a turbine, which then turns the generator shaft to generate electricity. For this type of “conventional” hydroelectric, there are two general approaches. The first is a storage dam, where water impoundment upstream of the dam is used to make a reservoir to store water, thus creating a vertical drop in water elevation and giving control over water flow. The second is a run-of-river scheme, such that a portion of a flowing river is diverted to generate electricity. The second method for generating electricity is called pumped storage. In this scheme, water is pumped from a lower to upper reservoir in order to store energy in the form of gravitational potential energy to be used later. In this respect, the system is operating as a battery to store energy for future use. The states of Washington, California, and Oregon control about half of the total US capacity.
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