Generating Station

A hydroelectric generating station is a plant that produces electricity by using water to propel the turbines, which, in turn, drive the generators.

These power stations generate about a quarter of all the electricity used in the world. With 59 hydropower stations and access to vast water reserves, Hydro-Québec uses water to generate almost all of its energy output—98% in 2008. In this way, the company helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Water rushes down the penstock to the turbine. Its force drives the turbine, which in turn makes the rotor spin and generates the back-and-forth motion of electrons.


Generating station with reservoir

A power station supplied by the water that accumulates in an artificial lake created by building a dam (retaining structure).

A head that's higher than the Eiffel Tower!

Sainte-Marguerite-3 generating station has a 330-metre head of water. That's 6 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower, antenna included.

Run-of-river generating station

A power station fed directly by a river. It has little or no water storage capacity. Its head is usually not very high, so its generating output will depend on the flow of the river.

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