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At Real Goods, we love solar PV - a lot - but for those lucky enough to have a good hydroelectric site, a micro hydroelectric generator really is the best choice for renewable energy. Even a small mountain stream that runs most of the year provides owners of micro hydroelectric generators with an unbeatable Watts per dollar return, in part because peripheral expenses like batteries are minimized with the steady flow of power hydroelectricity offers.

An effective micro-hydro system must be site-specific and typically requires more planning than a solar PV system. Our Hydroelectric Site Evaluation Form and our Tech Desk (800-919-2400) will help you maximize your hydro site's effectiveness with a properly-sized micro hydroelectric generator, battery bank, and piping.

"The key element for a good hydroelectric site is the vertical distance the water drops. A small amount of water dropping a large distance will produce as much energy as a large amount of water dropping a small distance. The turbine for the small amount of water is going to be smaller, lighter, easier to install, and vastly cheaper."

Solar Living Sourcebook 14th Edition
Chapter 3: Sunshine to Electricity

Hydroelectric Generators from Real Goods