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Top 10 Largest Hydro Electric Projects In The World – World’s Largest

Largest Hydro Electric Projects In The World

Hydroelectric energy may be a renewable energy source that a lot of countries hope can help them power their economic infrastructure, without the harmful carbon emissions and foreign dependence so often related to the use of fossil fuels. Nonetheless, hydroelectric dam construction can cause human displacement and ecological damage on a mass scale, and these factors must be considered before such projects are initiated. Also below, we have listed those hydroelectric projects with the largest installed power generation capacities in the world. In this article, you will find details about the list of Top 10 Largest Hydro-Electric projects In The World.

Also, Read: Top 10 Solar Energy Projects In the World

List Of Top 10 Largest Hydro Electric Projects In The World

Three Gorges

  • Location: China
  • Power: 22.5GW

A massive dam across the Yangtze was a dream in China since the turn of the 20th Century, though not fully realized until almost a century later in the form of Three Gorges Dam in Hubei Province, though smaller dams along the Yangtze were built in the meantime. The project is comprised of three primary components, namely the Three Gorges Dam, its hydroelectric power generating facility, and a system of locks in the dammed-up waters behind it.


  • Location: China
  • Power: 13.86GW

First of all, the power plant features the world’s first ultra-high concrete double-curvature arch dam at an elevation of 610m. The maximum height of the dam is 285.05m and the reservoir area is 454,400km². In fact, the hydroelectric plant is installed with 18 Francis turbine-generator units of 770MW each. The power generated is transmitted to consumers through the State Grid and China Southern power system.


  • Location: Venezuela
  • Power: 10.02GW

Construction of the power project started in 1963. It was administered in two phases, with the primary phase completed in 1978 and therefore the second introduce 1986. Also, the power plant consists of 20 generating units of various capacities ranging between 130MW and 770MW. Whereas, Alstom was awarded two contracts in 2007 and 2009 to refurbish four 400MW units and five 630MW respectively. This is one of the largest power plant that has made into the Top 10 Largest Hydro Electric Projects In The World.

Belo Monte

  • Location: Brazil
  • Power: 9.39GW

The Belo Monte power plant is owned and operated by Norte Energia, a consortium led by the Brazilian electric utility company Eletrobas (49.98%). Construction on the $11.2bn project was started in March 2011, while operations were started with the commissioning of the primary turbine generator unit in April 2016. Also, the project comprises two dams and two powerhouses, including a main powerhouse equipped with 18 Francis turbines of 611MW capacity each, and a supplemental powerhouse with six 38.85 MW Bulb turbines.


  • Location: Brazil
  • Power: 8.37GW

First things first, the construction of the $5.5bn Tucuruí hydropower project started in 1975. In fact, the first phase was completed in 1984. It involved construction of a concrete gravity dam 78m tall and 12,500m long, 12 generating units with a capacity of 330MW each, and two 25MW auxiliary units. Construction of the second phase to feature a replacement powerhouse was started in 1998 and completed in late-2010.

Grand Coulee

  • Location: USA
  • Power: 6.8GW

The Grand Coulee hydropower station consists of three power plants and a concrete gravity dam 168m tall and 1,592m long. Its construction started in 1933 and therefore the left and right powerhouses, consisting of total 18 Francis turbines rated 125MW and three 10MW additional units, were operational by 1950. The cube plant consists of three 805MW units and three 600MW units. Its construction began in 1967 and all the six units of the plant were commissioned between 1975 and 1980.


  • Location: China
  • Power: 6.4GW

The Xiangjiaba dam is 162m-high and features a crest elevation of 384m. Whereas, the reservoir area is 458,800km² and the reservoir capacity is 5.163 billion cubic meters. Nevertheless, the power plant is installed with eight units of 800MW each and comprises various structures for flood discharge, diversion, power generation, and ship lift. All eight generating units of the facility plant were operational in 2019. The annual generating capacity of the power plant is 30.88kWh, which is expected to increase to 33.09kWh in the future.


  • Location: Russia
  • Power: 6.4GW

Construction of the facility station started in 1963 and completed in 1978. An arch-gravity dam 242m tall and 1,066m long was constructed as a part of the project. In fact, the power plant consists of ten Francis generating units with a capacity of 640MW each. Also, it generates 23.5TWh of energy a year, of which 70% is delivered to four aluminum smelters in Siberia.


  • Location: China
  • Power: 6.3GW

The hydroelectric power plant consists of nine Francis 700MW generating units. In fact, the Longtan dam may be a roller-compacted concrete gravity dam 216.5m tall and 832m in breadth. Whereas, the power station is owned and operated by Longtan Hydropower Development. In fact, it was designed by Hydrochina Zhongnan Engineering and built by Sinohydro.

Robert-Bourassa Dam

  • Location: Canada
  • Power: 6.0GW

Part of the James Bay Project in Quebec, Canada, the Robert-Bourassa Dam is one of the most powerful dams in the world and is situated atop the world’s largest underground generating station. Whereas, the dam has a capacity of 5,616 megawatts, and along with the adjacent La Grande 2-A generating station accounts for 20% of Hydro-Quebec’s output. Construction on the dam began in 1974, and it had been officially opened in 1981. Today, it’s a tourist attraction, with visitors coming to enjoy the encompassing nature and therefore the Robert-Bourassa reservoir.

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