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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey

Hydroelectric Energy Infrastructure and Resources Interactive Map

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  • This interactive map provides information on hydroelectric power plants as well as other energy resources and infrastructure in the United States and Puerto Rico. 
  • The map shows the locations of hydroelectric power plants which can be layered with the infrastructure required to process, transport, and store other fuel sources such as coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium. 
Teaching Tips


  • Layers such as "Pipelines and Transmission" or "Market/Trading Hubs" allow students to visualize the lesser-known elements of energy production.
  • Students can search for and zoom in on a specific neighborhood.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Layers can be manipulated using the double arrow icon and the layers icon, both of which are located at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Some of the layers will be unfamiliar to students, so teachers may need to walk the students through the map options.


  • Geography and social studies classes could discuss why certain regions have more hydroelectric power plants than others. Students could consider geographical, political, and economic reasons for using (or not using) hydroelectric power.
  • Engineering and physics classes could locate a local hydroelectric power plant (the data points are clickable) and research the plant's water source and location. Classes could discuss the necessary criteria for a hydroelectric plant site.
  • Other resources on this topic include this National Geographic video on renewable energy, this resource that provides data on the percentage of global energy that comes from hydroelectric power, and this article and assessment on hydropower.
Scientist Notes
This interactive map displays the locations of all of the active hydroelectric power plants in operation in the United States and Puerto Rico. Each one is clickable for more information. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
      • HS-ESS3-6. Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
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