In Your Region

Hydropower is helping to keep the lights on in every U.S. state. The top-ten hydropower generating states are:

  1. Washington
  2. Oregon
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. Alabama
  6. Tennessee
  7. Montana
  8. Idaho
  9. North Carolina
  10. Arizona
  Learn more about hydropower in your state.

The U.S. hydropower industry is a vibrant, growing part of the American energy economy. As the Hydropower Industry Snapshot shows, hydropower plants and supply chain companies make up a thriving industry that benefits regions and communities across the country with affordable clean energy and domestic jobs. But hydropower’s story does not end there as there is plenty of potential for hydropower to grow.

The existing fleet of over 2,200 hydropower plants already provides the country with 100,000 MW of affordable, reliable hydropower capacity. In fact, the majority of the nation’s renewable electricity is generated by hydropower.

The industry is supported by an equally impressive supply chain that features more than 2,500 companies and employs approximately 300,000 American workers. Those companies include small, medium and large firms, and range from project developers to construction companies; architecture and engineering firms to electricians; and component manufacturers to biologists.

Much of the hydro industry’s growth has come through the modernization of existing facilities; the conversion of non-powered dams; and the deployment of pumped storage, hydrokinetic, and conduit technologies. It’s an industry that is ready to grow even more.

In 2012, the Department of Energy found that there are tens of thousands of dams across the U.S. that could be powered and add an additional 12,000 MW of hydropower capacity to the nation’s electricity grid.  Additionally, Navigant Consulting identified several tens of thousands of additional megawatts from other forms of development, such as expanding and upgrading existing hydropower plants and building new pumped storage.

The Snapshot clearly shows that smart, targeted federal policies to incentivize investment have paid dividends around the country. And it shows what’s at risk if Congress fails to provide a stable, predictable policy environment for renewable energy moving forward.

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Supply chain company information was gathered from a representative sampling of NHA’s 200 members, which includes project developers, generators, and major suppliers in the non-federal system. It is not a comprehensive listing of every company in the hydro supply chain. Data on existing hydropower plants and non-powered dams with potential for hydro development was provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This map will continue to grow as more information is gathered.