Hydroelectric Power

hydroelectric power station

Renewable energy powered by water

Hydroelectric power or hydropower is a clean, renewable energy source that generates about 10% of the nation’s energy. While simple in concept, hydroelectric power is highly efficient and environmentally friendly.

man standing at a traditional hydropower station

Traditional Hydropower

Dominion Energy hydroelectric power stations are unique in design and operation. Hydropower is used to supplement power from other stations during periods of high energy demand. The most common type uses a dam on a river to store water in a reservoir. Water released from the reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which activates a generator that produces electricity.

But hydroelectric power doesn't need a large dam. Some hydropower plants can use a small canal to channel the river water through a turbine.

inside a pumped hydroelectric storage facility

Pumped storage

Pumped storage plants such as Bath County Pumped Storage Station can even store power. The power grid will send energy into the electric generators at the station. The generators will spin the turbines backward, causing the turbines to pump water from a river or lower reservoir to an upper reservoir. There, power is stored in the form of water to be used in the future.

To use the power, the water is released from the upper reservoir back down into the river or lower reservoir. This spins the turbines forward, activating the generators to produce electricity.

diagram of Bath County hydroelectric storage facility The Bath County Pumped Storage Station is the largest of its kind in the world, capable of powering 750,000 households - more than the Hoover Dam.

Long-Term Dominion Energy Forecast