01 Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry


RESOURCES AND BENEFICIAL USES



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RESOURCES AND BENEFICIAL USES

HYDROPOWER GENERATION
One of the most important historical uses of the Kennebec River has been the generation of electricity through hydropower facilities. Today, hydropower continues to be a critical use of the river as the flow generates power which is highly reliable, renewable and generally non-polluting. Hydro projects frequently have useful lives of over 50 years and enjoy no fuel costs, and low maintenance and overall operating costs. However, potential negative environmental impacts, including oxygen depletion, impact on fish migration, riverine ecosystem structure and function, and recreational use, can offset the advantages of hydropower.
In the 1970s hydropower supplied 35% of Maine's electric energy needs; increases in demand for electric power supplied from other sources reduced that figure to 23% in 1986, 33% in 1990, and 31% in 1991.25



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