Almost 70 percent of all U.S. hydroelectric generation is produced in the western United States during an average water year. The northwestern states of Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho generate about 50 percent of all hydroelectric output. The mountains are high and water is plentiful in this region, yielding optimal conditions for hydroelectric generation. Another 20 percent of the nation’s hydroelectric output occurs in the southwestern states of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, and New Mexico. While these states have terrain similar to those in the northwest, the climate is drier. The southeastern states of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida contribute about 10 percent of U.S. hydroelectric production. This region includes large TVA and utility dams with hydroelectric plants. The State of New York produces over 8 percent of the nation’s hydroelectricity. At a capacity of 2,500,000 kilowatts, the New York Power Authority’s Robert Moses Niagara hydroelectric project is the primary contributor of this electricity. The remainder of the country produces 12 percent of U.S. hydroelectric generation.
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