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Hydroelectric Energy

Cowan Ford Hydro

Duke Energy’s hydroelectric power plants in the U.S. provide approximately 3,525 megawatts of renewable energy to help meet our customers’ demand for clean, reliable and affordable electricity.

Duke Energy began its operations in the Carolinas as a hydroelectric company. Harnessing the water power of the Catawba River, the company’s first power plant provided electricity to the area’s emerging textile industry, and later, the region’s growing appetite for the convenience that electricity could provide. Today, Duke Energy is the second largest investor-owned hydroelectric operator in the U.S.

In addition to ensuring a reliable supply of electricity for our customers, the lakes created by our hydroelectric facilities provide communities with recreational opportunities, such as boating, fishing and swimming. The lakes also sustain wildlife habitats and offer water sources for everyday use to local communities, including drinking water.

Quick start-up times make hydroelectric plants ideally suited to provide peaking power. They can provide electricity in a matter of seconds when customer demand is high.

Hydroelectric assets also constitute more than 70 percent of Duke Energy International’s generating capacity in Latin America. Our hydroelectric facilities in Argentina, Brazil and Peru can produce more than 2,900 megawatts of electricity.

Hydrogen initiatives
Over the last few years, we have participated in research and pilot projects to test the feasibility of this fuel source for future electric generation. To learn more about these projects, visit our hydrogen initiatives page.