You walk into your home and flip a switch. Presto, the room fills with light. But think about what actually powers your home, creating the ability to turn on lights, use your ovens, have air conditioning, and that precious cup of morning coffee …
Electricity obviously has to be produced and brought through powerlines to countless millions of homes across the U.S., but did you know the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydropower Program is the largest generator of hydropower in the United States?
USACE manages 75 power-producing dams, housing 356 individual generating units. With that energy-producing arsenal, our hydropower assets generate more than 75 billion kilowatt hours per year of clean renewable energy. That’s enough clean energy to power 10 cities the size of Seattle!
The electricity produced by USACE’s hydroelectric plants saves 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions every year. That’s a huge number, but what does that figure mean to you? To put it in perspective, a coal-fired power plant generates 3.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, according to the website Recyclist. That means USACE hydroelectric plants prevent the need for the approximately 14.7 coal-fired power plants it would take to produce that same amount of electricity!
In fact, one out of every four Megawatts of hydropower in the U.S. is generated by our USACE plants. So the next time you flip a switch, or savor that steaming cup of morning java, take a moment to ponder the source. Our USACE technicians are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to monitor energy production.
Read more about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydropower Program, and when your done, consider a career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers!