Friday, June 10, 2011

Hydropower & The Bonneville Dam

About 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water.  It is an amazing and powerful resource and is the most common renewable source of energy in the United States today.  Hydropower is the use of our great resource, water, to generate electricity.  A plethora of power plants use dams on rivers to store water.  The Bonneville dam of the Cascade Locks is a beautiful example of the continued production of renewable energy.  It was constructed using Federal money under the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration at a time when electricity production was crucial.  The Bonneville Dam is located 40 miles east of Portland in the Columbia River Gorge.  The Bonneville Dam’s primary functions include electrical power generation and river navigation.
Much hydroelectric power is generated through the use of a dam on a river to store water. The water released from behind the dam flows through a turbine, which spins it, and turns a generator to produce electricity.  The energy production resulting from this process is hydroelectricity and accounts for 7% of the electricity used by the nation.  Hydroelectric power can be seen on a large scale like a dam or on a smaller scare on a ranch with the use of a channel to produce energy.  The minimal cost of hydroelectricity attracts many industries that use large quantities to the renewable energy source.  Hydroelectricity will continue to be an effective resource promoting renewable energy has it has for about 100 years. 

~Kristen Roland

1 comment:

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