Hydropower is renewable energy source with a very long history of use. In fact, the world's first hydroelectric power plant began operating in 1882, on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin. One extremely important factor that makes hydropower so reliable is the longevity of hydroelectric power plants.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) hydroelectric power plants are the oldest power plants still in use in United States with the average operating time of the hydroelectric facility in United States being 64 years.
EIA recently reported that the 50 oldest electric generating stations in the U.S. are all hydroelectric power plants, all of which have been operational since 1908.
Despite this longevity and reliability, hydropower still only accounts for approximately 7 percent of U.S. electricity generation each year.