Hydro power, or the energy of falling water, has been used to generate electricity in Canada for more than a century. The province of Ontario, home to Niagara Falls and several rivers and streams, relied exclusively on hydro power for nearly 50 years. However, coal, gas, and nuclear energy eventually reduced the role of water power in Ontario’s energy supply. Today, the province generates over a quarter of its electricity from hydro power, but that figure can still be increased significantly.
Private power producer Water Power Group is leading the revival of hydro power in Ontario by working with local communities and Aboriginal peoples to develop small, run-of-the-river hydroelectric projects. Having identified more than 200 potential hydro sites, the company is refurbishing existing low head flood control dams in the province and installing highly efficient turbines of up to 94 percent efficiency. Hydro power systems are also very low maintenance – once a generating station has been established, it can be expected to generate electricity for 100 years without harming the environment.