Run of the River Dam

Run-of-river hydroelectricity (ROR) or run-of-the-river hydroelectricity is a type of hydroelectric generation plant whereby little or no water storage is provided. Run-of-the-river power plants may have no water storage at all or a limited amount of storage, in which case the storage reservoir is referred to as pondage. A plant without pondage is subject to seasonal river flows, thus the plant will operate as an intermittent energy source. Conventional hydro uses reservoirs, which regulate water for flood control and dispatchable electrical power.

Cleaner power, fewer greenhouse gases

Like all hydro-electric power, run-of-the-river hydro harnesses the natural potential energy of water, eliminating the need to burn coal or natural gas to generate the electricity needed by consumers and industry. Moreover, run-of-the-river hydro-electric plants do not have reservoirs thus eliminating the methane and carbon dioxide emissions caused by the decomposition of organic matter in the reservoir of a conventional hydro-electric dam. This is a particular advantage in tropical countries where methane generation can be a problem.

Belo Monte Dam in Brazil is the largest run of the river hydro-electric producer with a capacity of 11,233 MW.