We have a proud 100-year history as owner, operator and developer of hydroelectric generation providing the basis of our renewable energy business and expertise. Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners portfolio currently counts over 170 hydropower stations across the Americas.
Hydropower converts the natural flow of water into electricity to light our homes and power our industries. The energy is produced by the fall of water turning the blades of a turbine. The turbine is connected to a generator that converts the energy into electricity.
The amount of electricity a hydropower installation can produce depends on the quantity of water passing through a turbine (the volume of water flow) and on the height from which the water falls (the amount of head). The greater the flow and the head, the more electricity produced.
There are different types and sizes of hydropower installations, ranging from micro hydro plants that provide electricity to only a few homes to mega installations.
Some hydropower facilities include dams to increase the head of a waterfall or to control the flow of water, and reservoirs to store the water for future energy use (storage dam), while others produce electricity by immediately using a river's water flow (run-of-river).
For more information on hydropower, please visit the following websites:
Hydropower offsets the emissions of non-renewable energy sources (such as coal and natural gas), thus reducing our contribution to global climate change.
- Hydropower is the most important source of renewable energy in the world.
- Hydropower is a consistent, reliable and renewable source of clean power.
- More than 150 countries around the world generate hydropower.
- Nearly 20% of the world’s electricity is produced by hydropower.
- Hydropower is the most important source of electricity in Canada.
- Over 60% of the electricity produced in Canada comes from the power of water.
- Canada is the world’s biggest producer of hydropower generating 350 TWh/year.
- Hydropower is one of the electricity sources that generate the fewest greenhouse gases, i.e. 60 times less than coal-fired power plants and 18 times less than natural gas power plants.
In 2006, Brookfield commissioned its first wind project, the Prince Wind Farm, located northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. Comprising 126 wind turbines, the project extends over nearly 20,000 acres. With a total installed capacity of 189 megawatts (MW), Prince is one of the largest wind farms in Canada. The project was constructed in two phases, each with its own 20-year power purchase agreement with the Ontario Power Authority.
Since 2010, Brookfield has commissioned 2 other wind farms in Canada and is currently building 2 in United States. By end of 2012, Brookfield’s wind portfolio is expected to have an installed capacity of over 600 MW.
About Wind Power
Wind power can be thought of as a form of solar energy as heat from the sun causes wind to circulate on the Earth's surface. Wind can be harnessed directly to produce electricity when it spins the blades of a wind turbine, which drives an electric power generator.
Advances in aerodynamics and materials have made electricity generation from wind turbines economically cost competitive. Wind power is a renewable resource that produces clean energy - with no emissions and no hazardous wastes.
A wind farm is a cluster of wind turbines that harvest the power of the wind, and is usually connected to the electric grid of a utility for widespread consumption of its electricity. Wind farms are located in areas with reliably favorable wind speeds, and can be comprised of 10 to over 100 turbines.
For more information on wind energy, please visit the following websites:
Benefits of Wind Energy
- Significant contribution to local tax base revenue;
- Royalty payments will be made to participating landowners who are likely to spend part of the new income locally;
- Wind energy is renewable, reliable, efficient, is associated with few adverse environmental effects, and assists in reducing our contributions to global climate change;
- More energy dollars are retained in local economies;
- Monies will be spent locally during construction on goods, services, and labour to the extent practicable;
- The creation of jobs during the construction phase; and
- The creation of full and part-time employment during the operation phase.