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This paper presents an artificial neural network (ANN) controller for automatic generation control of a two area hydro-electric power system. A hierarchical architecture of three layer feed forward neural network (NN) is proposed for controller design, two networks are used, one for identifying the system and other for control respectively, trained based on back propagation algorithm (BPA). The regulator accepts area control error (ACE) as input and produce acceptable control signals. Its operation does not require a reference model and it can produce more acceptable control signals than are obtained by using sign of system errors during training. Input-output mapping of hydro systems using ANNs has been investigated and the controller has been implemented on a two area hydro-electric power system model. Simulation results show satisfactory control performance and illustrate the potential of the ANN controller in comparison with an existing conventional linear controller.