Hydropower celebrated as an important part of Alabama Power’s diverse energy mix

Hydropower celebrated as an important part of Alabama Power’s diverse energy mix
Facilities like Lay Dam help generate hydropower for Alabama Power. (file)

For more than a century, Alabama Power customers have benefited from renewable hydroelectric power. Today, National Hydropower Day, Alabama Power is recognizing the power of falling water and its important role in helping provide reliable, affordable energy.

“Our company was founded on hydropower,” said Herbie Johnson, Hydro general manager at Alabama Power. “Today, our hydroelectric facilities and reservoirs continue to serve our customers while providing a multitude of other benefits for our state.”

The company’s first hydroelectric facility, Lay Dam, began operation on the Coosa River in 1914. Today, Alabama Power owns and operates 14 hydroelectric plants, which typically provide between 5% and 8% of the company’s annual energy mix.

Meanwhile, the company’s 11 reservoirs provide more than 157,000 acres of water and more than 3,500 miles of shoreline for the public’s use and enjoyment. Alabama Power operates 64 recreational facilities on its reservoirs, including boat ramps, day-use parks, walking trails and fishing areas.

In addition to providing clean, renewable energy and recreational opportunities, Alabama Power’s hydroelectric facilities and reservoirs can help manage water flows during periods of heavy rains. Alabama Power reservoirs are also important sources of drinking water.

Nationwide, hydropower was the largest generator of clean, renewable electricity, representing 7% of U.S. electricity generation in 2018 and nearly 40 percent of renewable electricity generation, according to the National Hydropower Association. About 2,200 power plants make up the U.S. hydropower fleet, which employs more than 66,000 workers.

Learn more about Alabama Power lakes and the company’s hydroelectric operations at www.apcshorelines.com.

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