The Ontario waterpower industry has a long and proud history and an extremely bright future thanks to the natural abundance of waterpower in the province. In fact, waterpower continues to be one of Ontario’s most valuable renewable resources.
Less than three generations ago, Ontario’s waterpower resources accounted for almost all of the electricity produced in the province. Waterpower fueled the economic development of Ontario and contributed to the quality of life we enjoy to this day.
There are approximately 223 waterpower facilities currently operating in the province, ranging in capacity from less than 1 MW to Niagara Falls – at close to 2,000 MW. It is estimated that there is the potential for another 1,000 MW from the re-development of some existing facilities and at least 1,500 MW of new development potential on sites that have been previously assessed.
While waterpower is a proven technology, it continues to evolve and improve. With more than 2,000 locations across the province identified with the raw hydraulic potential to produce energy, waterpower will continue to contribute to local, regional, and provincial requirements in a manner that balances social, environmental, and economic objectives.
In addition to producing energy, many waterpower facilities are managed to provide a number of important ancillary benefits, including flood mitigation, water level stability for recreation, flow maintenance for dilution or habitat protection, and erosion control. In an environment of consumer choice, it is clear that renewable energy will continue to be valued, and that waterpower, which comprises 77% of Ontario’s renewable power, will build on its long history of contributing to the continued prosperity of the province.
OWA Fact Sheets
1. Renewable Energy – Waterpower Facts
2. The Real Value of Waterpower
3. Ontario’s Waterpower Facilities Map
Waterpower Science Kit
Hydropower has been used for hundreds of years in watermills and is now commonly used to generate electricity in applications such as hydroelectric dams and tidal power plants. Explore the power of water by building models and conducting experiments with them. Learn about how different devices are used to extract useful energy from moving water — from a waterwheel in a small stream to a giant turbine in a tidal power station. Build a waterwheel, a sawmill, and a hammer mill to harness the energy of moving water to do different types of physical work. Investigate the intriguing properties of water by performing experiments involving surface tension, adhesion, and cohesion. Learn about water pressure by building a water tower, communicating vessels, and a water fountain.Construct a hydroelectric power station to generate electricity and light an LED. Learn about where the energy in ocean waves, tides, and rivers comes from, and discover how we can generate electricity from them. The full-color, 32-page experiment manual offers illustrated instructions and scientific information. Ages 8 and up.
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