- Last Updated on Friday, 31 August 2012 11:23
Waterpower, also called hydroelectricity, is a renewable form of electricity generation that harnesses the energy produced from the movement of falling or flowing water. In order to change this kinetic energy into electricity, the water from the main water body (i.e.: the river or lake or reservoir) is diverted and directed into turn a turbine. The momentum (kinetic energy) of the flowing water forces the blades of the turbine to move. The turning of the blades causes a shaft to spin and this, in turn, spins the rotor of the generator. When the rotor in the generator is spun, an electromagnetic field is created and electricity is made. The amount of electricity generated can depend on both the vertical distance of the water fall (the "head') and the amount of water (the "flow") moving through the turbine. Currently, waterpower accounts for approximately 26 percent of Ontario's electricity supply.
There are a number of different types of waterpower structures. The choice of waterpower structure for a particular site depends on many things: the terrain, the amount of water available, environmental impacts, construction and operating costs, local energy demands, and economic viability.
Interim Waterpower Opportunity: As the MNR undertakes its policy review for renewable energy development on Crown land, the MNR will be accepting some new waterpower development applications.
Waterpower: Ontario's Primary Source of Renewable Energy: An information fact sheet by Ontario Waterpower Association.
A Community Guide to Waterpower Development: A guide designed to assist communities with the development of waterpower projects.
Introduction to Water Power: An information fact sheet created by the Blue Sky Renewable Energy Initiative.
Micro-Hydro Systems: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs information on micro hydro systems.
Sustainable Energy - Small Hydro: OSEA's information page on small hydro.
Waterpower Development Process: A slide outlining the timeline for waterpower developments pulled from the CEPP webinar "Waterpower Opportunities in Ontario.
How It Works: Hydroelectric Power: A video from OPG on how hydroelectric generation works.
Hydro Power: An Introduction: How hydro-electric systems transfer the energy of moving water into electricity, and what kind of river makes a good hydro site.
CEPP Webinar - Waterpower Opportunities in Ontario: A webinar dedicated to understanding community-based waterpower projects and opportunities in Ontario.