Q:

What is hydro power?

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Quick Answer

Hydro power is power generated using the energy of moving water. Hydro power, also known as water power, is mostly used to generate electricity, and it is the most inexpensive way to produce electricity, as of 2015.

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What is hydro power?
Credit: Alexander Ulyanov CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Hydro power has been used for centuries. Hydro power from water mills has been used as a renewable energy source for irrigation and to operate mechanical devices, such as textile mills, dock cranes, sawmills and domestic lifts, since ancient times.

A hydro plant has three parts: an electric plant where electricity is created, a dam that controls water flow by opening and closing and a reservoir where water is stored. The first hydroelectric power plant was built in 1879 at Niagara Falls, and the first hydroelectric power plant in the United states began operating in 1882 in Appleton, Wisconsin.

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