Back to usesUses for Reservoirs - Hydroelectric Power
Lairg Dam in Scotland and its power station
Reservoirs can be used to store water to feed hydroelectric power stations. Hydroelectric power is generated by using the energy from falling water to drive water turbines that in turn drive electric generators. The reservoir water is stored at a higher level than the turbines, which are housed in a power station. Sometimes, the power station is directly in front of a dam, and pipes through the dam feed water directly to the turbines. In other cases, the power station is some distance downhill from the reservoir, and the water is fed to it through long pipes or tunnels called penstocks.