Hydropower in Canada

Hydropower Installed Capacity79.2GW

Hydropower Production32.3Mtoe per year

Canada possesses enormous hydropower potential – the Canadian Hydropower Association assessed Canada’s ‘total unexploited technical hydro potential’ in 2011 as 163 GW, of which over half was in Québec, Alberta and British Columbia. At the end of 2011, total installed hydroelectric capacity was 75 104 MW.

Approximately 475 hydroelectric generating plants across the country produce an average of 350 terawatt-hours per year — one terawatt-hour represents enough electricity to heat and

power 40,000 houses. In 2011 the actual total generation for  the year was 348 TWh.

With many rivers across the country, Canada has hydropower in all regions. The top-producing provinces are Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador, with more than 95 percent of the total hydropower generation in Canada.

Canada still has immense undeveloped potential — over twice the current capacity — and all provinces and territories have some hydropower potential.There are a number of significant hydroelectric projects under construction. In total, these

projects will increase hydro generation capacity by more than 2 350 MW, with a probable annual generation of 11.15 TWh. According to Natural Resources Canada, hydro capacity reported to be in the course of planning adds up to a massive 14 500 MW, potentially supplying more than 68 TWh/yr.

The total installed capacity of small hydro plants (of <10 MW) totalled 1 001 MW, with an estimated annual generation of 4 650 GWh. Small-scale HPPs are located throughout the country, notably in British Columbia, Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. A total of 188 MW of additional small hydro capacity is reported as planned, with a projected generation of 873 GWh/yr.