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Our hydroelectric system is one of the largest in the country. The system provides clean, renewable energy and offers many recreational opportunities. Reservoirs, dams, rivers and streams are available for swimming, fishing and boating. Campgrounds, picnic areas, boat launches and trails are ready for you to enjoy. Before you visit our recreational areas, take a moment to learn about hydropower and water safety.

 

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The movement of water rushing from a higher elevation to a lower one produces hydropower. This movement turns a turbine and creates electricity. Dams hold the water, creating reservoirs. Water moves from the reservoirs to powerhouses through waterways, such as rivers and streams. After reaching a powerhouse, the water generates electricity that is transported to the power grid.

 

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A hydroelectric system can have large amounts of rushing water present at any time, sometimes without warning. It is important to be cautious around facilities and recognize warning signs. Learn more about water safety in and around our facilities. Visit Water Safety Tips.

 

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Our hydroelectric system:

  • Is built along 16 river basins. The basins stretch nearly 500 miles in our service area.
  • Uses water from more than 98 reservoirs. Most of the reservoirs are located in the higher elevation of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range.
  • Has 67 powerhouses.
  • Produces roughly 3,900 megawatts (MW) of power.
  • Can provide power for nearly four million homes.

 

Keep safe around dams and waterways: Visit Water Safety


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