History of Hydropower

Events

Greeks

71 BCE

Greeks were first to use hydropower in order to grind wheat into flour.

Bureau of Reclamation Established

1902

The Bureau of Reclamation gets involved in hydropower development to provide water resource management to the arid western areas of the United States.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Build Hydroelectric Plants

1920

Congress authorizes U.S .Army Corps to build hydroelectric plants.

First Major Pumped Storage Plant

1929

The first large-scale pumped storage development in the U.S. built in New Milford, Connecticut.

Flooding controlled by Tennessee Valley Authority

1933

The Tennessee Valley Authority is tasked with controlling flooding and opening up the Tennessee River for navigational purposes.

Federal Power Commission becomes an Independent Regulatory Agency

1935

Federal Power Commission's authority is extended to all hydroelectric projects either built by publicly or privately-owned utilities engaged in interstate commerce.

Hoover Dam built

1936

One of the most famous hydroelectric projects in history, built on the border of Nevada and Arizona on top of the Colorado River.

Hydropower Research Foundation established

1994

Clean, affordable hydropower researched and promoted by the Hydropower research foundation established by the National Hydropower Association.

DOE Upgrades Hydropower Facilities

2009

Existing hydropower facilities would get upgrades from the investment made by DOE which offered both communities and utilities an opportunity to make more cost effective and productive hydropower systems.