Washington, D.C. — As part of President Obama’s all-out, all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today released a renewable energy resource assessment detailing the potential to develop electric power generation at existing dams across the United States that aren’t currently equipped to produce power. The report estimates that without building a single new dam, these available hydropower resources, if fully developed, could provide an electrical generating capacity of more than 12 gigawatts (GW), equivalent to roughly 15 percent of current U.S. hydropower capacity. These findings demonstrate one of the ways the nation can diversify its energy portfolio while achieving the Administration’s goal of generating 80 percent of our nation’s electricity from clean resources by 2035.
The report, titled An Assessment of Energy Potential at Non-Powered Dams in the United States, analyzes more than 54,000 specific sites that could be developed to generate power. The results indicate that, if fully developed, the nation’s non-powered dams could provide enough energy to power over four million households.