Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hydropower Conclusion

Reclamation is helping to meet the needs of our country, and one of the most pressing needs is the growing demand for electric power. Reclamation power plants annually generate more than 42 billion kWh of hydroelectric energy, which is enough to meet the annual residential needs of 14 million people or the energy equivalent of more than 80 million barrels of crude oil.

The deregulation of wholesale electricity sales and the imposition of requirements for open transmission access are resulting in dramatic changes in the business of electric power production in the United States. This restructuring increases the importance of clean, reliable energy sources such as hydropower.

Hydropower is important from an operational standpoint as it needs no "ramp-up" time, as many combustion technologies do. Hydropower can increase or decrease the amount of power it is supplying to the system almost instantly to meet shifting demand. With this important load-following capability, peaking capacity and voltage stability attributes, hydropower plays a significant part in ensuring reliable electricity service and in meeting customer needs in a market driven industry. In addition, hydroelectric pumped storage facilities are the only significant way currently available to store electricity.

Hydropower's ability to provide peaking power, load following, and frequency control helps protect against system failures that could lead to the damage of equipment and even brown or blackouts. Hydropower, besides being emissions-free and renewable has the above operating benefits that provide enhanced value to the electric system in the form of efficiency, security, and most important, reliability. The electric benefits provided by hydroelectric resources are of vital importance to the success of our National experiment to deregulate the electric industry.

Water is one of our most valuable resources, and hydropower makes use of this renewable treasure. As a National leader in managing hydropower, Reclamation is helping the Nation meet its present and future energy needs in a manner that protects the environment by improving hydropower projects and operating them more effectively.

No comments:

Post a Comment