Alabama is the second-largest hydroelectric power producer east of the Rocky Mountains, after New York.
The first hydroelectric plant for lighting a whole town was invented on a stream in Etowah County near Attalla by W. P. Lay in 1887.
Alabama’s many rivers flow from the Appalachian highlands toward the Gulf of Mexico, and several dams along those rivers provide hydroelectric power.
Twenty-three hydroelectric dams provided almost 8% of the state’s electricity net generation in 2019.
In 2019, renewable energy sources generated about 10% of Alabama’s in-state electricity. Hydroelectric facilities accounted for nearly three-fourths of the state’s renewable electricity generation.