A hydroelectric power generation system (20) generates electrical power for an electrical utilization system (72). A controller (42) obtains a requested output electrical power level from a hydro-turbine unit (70) by using a signal indicative of water head (h¿meas?) to control speed of an asynchronous rotary converter (50) coupled to the hydro-turbine unit and to control gate position of the hydro-turbine unit. The requested output electrical power level is applied from the hydro-turbine unit via the rotary converter to the electrical utilization system. In one embodiment, the controller (42B) accesses an updatable memory wherein Hydraulic Hill Chart information is stored. In another embodiment, the controller (42C) also includes a real-time automatic governor which uses a signal indicative of ac transmission frequency to the electrical utilization system to control the output electrical power level of the rotary converter.