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This article provides a list of the largest hydroelectric power stations by generating capacity. Only plants with capacity larger than 2,000 MW are listed.

The Three Gorges Dam in Hubei, China, has the world's largest instantaneous generating capacity (22,500 MW), with the Itaipu dam in Brazil/Paraguay in second place (14,000 MW). During the course of an entire year, the Itaipu dam generates more electricity (94.7 TWH) than the Three Gorges Dam (84.4 TWH) because the Three Gorges dam experiences six months per year when there is very little water available to generate power, while the Parana river that feeds the Itaipu dam has a much lower seasonal variance in flow. The giant Three Gorges Dam (22,500 MW when completed) is operated jointly with the much smaller Gezhouba Dam (3,115 MW). As of 2009, the total generating capacity of this two-dam complex is 21,515 MW. The whole project is planned to be completed in 2012, when the total generating capacity will be 25,615 MW. In 2008, this complex generated 97.9 TWh of electricity (80.8 TWh from the Three Gorges Dam and 17.1 TWh from the Gezhouba Dam), which is 3.4% more power in one year than the 94.7 TWh generated by Itaipu in 2008.

Three Gorges Dam (left), Gezhouba Dam (right).

The Itaipu power plant on the Brazil-Paraguay border currently produces the most hydroelectricity power in the world from a single dam. With 20 generator units and 14,000 MW of installed capacity, in 2008 the Itaipu power plant reached a new historic record for electricity production by generating 94.68 terawatt-hours (340,800 TJ).

The Jinsha River (the upper stream of Yangtze River) complex is the largest hydroelectric generating system currently under construction. It has 3 phases. Phase one includes 4 dams on the downstream of the Jinsha River. They are Wudongde Dam, Baihetan Dam, Xiluodu Dam, and Xiangjiaba Dam, with generating capacity of 7,400 MW, 14,000 MW, 12,600 MW, and 6,000 MW respectively. The total generating capacity of those four dams is 40,000 MW. Construction of Xiluodu Dam started on December 26, 2005. Construction of Xiangjiaba Dam started on November 26, 2006. Phase one is planned to be completed in 2015. Phase two includes 8 dams on the middle stream of the Jinsha River. The total generating capacity is 21,150 MW. Phase three includes 8 dams on the upper stream of the Jinsha River. The total generating capacity is 8,980 MW. The total combined capacity of the Jinsha complex with the Three Gorges complex will be 95,745 MW.

There are also plans for the Grand Inga Dam, at the Inga Dam in the Congo River. Grand Inga would produce the most hydroelectricity power in the world in a single dam, with 52 generator units and 39,000 MW of installed capacity.

Name Country Year of completion Total Capacity (MW) Max annual electricity
production (TW-hour)[1]
Area flooded (km²)
1 Three Gorges Dam  People's Republic of China 2012 [2] 22,500 [2] 84.37[3] 632
2 Itaipu  Brazil  Paraguay 1984/1991/2003 14,000 94.7[4] 1,350
3 Guri (Simón Bolívar)  Venezuela 1986 10,200 53.41 4,250
4 Tucuruí  Brazil 1984 8,370 41.43 3,014
5 Grand Coulee  United States 1942/1980 6,809 20[5] 324
6 Sayano Shushenskaya
(repair works)
 Russia 1985/1989 2009/2014 6,400 26.8 621
7 Krasnoyarskaya  Russia 1972 6,000 20.4 2,000
8 Robert-Bourassa  Canada 1981 5,616[6][7]
9 Churchill Falls  Canada 1971 5,428[8] 35 6,988
10 Longtan Dam  People's Republic of China 2009 4,900 (6,300 when complete) 18.7[9]
11 Bratskaya  Russia 1967 4,500 22.6
12 Ust Ilimskaya  Russia 1980 4,320 21.7
13 Paulo Afonso Hydroelectric Complex  Brazil 1979 4,279
14 Laxiwa Dam  People's Republic of China 2010 4,200 [10]
15 Xiaowan Dam  People's Republic of China 2010 4,200 [11]
16 Yaciretá  Argentina  Paraguay 1998 4,050 19.2 1,600
17 Pubugou Dam  People's Republic of China 2010 3,600
18 Tarbela Dam  Pakistan 1976 3,478 13
19 Ertan Dam  People's Republic of China 1999 3,300 (550×6) 17.0
20 Ilha Solteira Dam  Brazil 1973 3,444
21 Xingó Dam  Brazil 1994/1997 3,162
22 Gezhouba Dam  People's Republic of China 1988 3,115 17.01
23 Boguchany Dam  Russia 2011/2013 3,000 17.6 2,326
24 Nurek Dam  Tajikistan 1979/1988 3,000 11.2
25 Goupitan Dam  People's Republic of China 2009 3,000 [12]
26 La Grande-4  Canada 1986 2,779[6]
27 W. A. C. Bennett Dam  Canada 1968 2,730 13
28 Chief Joseph Dam  United States 1958/73/79 2,620
29 Manic-5 and Manic-5-PA  Canada 1968, 1989 2,592[6]
30 Volzhskaya (Volgogradskaya)  Russia 1961 2,572 12.3
31 Niagara Falls (US)  United States 1961 2,515 [13]
32 Revelstoke Dam  Canada 1984 2,480 115
33 Chicoasén (Manuel M. Torres) Dam  Mexico 1980 2,430
34 La Grande-3  Canada 1984 2,418[6]
35 Tehri Dam  India 2005 2,400 6.532
36 Atatürk Dam  Turkey 1990 2,400 8.9
37 Jinanqiao Dam  People's Republic of China 2011 2,400
38 Zhiguliovskaya (Samarskaya)  Russia 1957 2,341 10.5
39 Iron Gates-I  Romania  Serbia 1970 2,192 13
40 Caruachi  Venezuela 2006 2,160 12.95
41 John Day Dam  United States 1949 2,160
42 La Grande-2-A  Canada 1992 2,106[6][14]
43 Aswan  Egypt 1970 2,100 11
44 Bath County PSP  United States 1985 2,100 3.32
45 Itumbiara  Brazil 1980 2,082
46 Hoover Dam  United States 1936/1961 2,080
47 Cahora Bassa  Mozambique 1975 2,075
48 Cleuson-Dixence Complex  Switzerland 1965 2,069 4.51
49 The Dalles Dam  United States 1957 2,038
50 Bureya Dam  Russia 2009 2,010
51 Karun I Dam  Iran 1976 2,000
52 Masjed Soleyman Dam  Iran 2001 2,000
53 Karun III Dam  Iran 2007 2,000 4.1
54 Lijiaxia Dam  People's Republic of China 2000 2,000

References

  1. Generating capacity is not the only factor determining the amount of electricity generated, as this also depends on consistent utilization of the plant's capacity. Factors enhancing this are the free capacity of the reservoir and the consistency of water supply during and across years.
  2. 2.0 2.1 26 generators installed October 2008, 6 more to be installed in 2011, at which point full generating capacity of 22,500 MW will be achieved.
  3. Three Gorges Dam article
  4. Itaipu article
  5. "Generation Records Fall at Grand Coulee Dam". U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Archived from the original on 2006-10-07. Retrieved 2006-11-18.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 17: bad argument #1 to 'old_pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  7. Combined with La Grande-2-A, it would place the LG-2 complex in 5th place
  8. http://www.nalcorenergy.com/churchill-falls.asp
  9. http://energy.people.com.cn/GB/7650064.html
  10. http://www.sasac.gov.cn/n1180/n1226/n2410/n314274/7508740.html
  11. http://www.yn.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2010-08/25/content_20718495.htm
  12. http://www.hydropower.org.cn/info/shownews.asp?newsid=2122
  13. Combined US-CA capacity >= 1.6 MW greater than this so would be about 10th place.
  14. Combined with Robert-Bourassa, it would place LG-2 complex in 5th place

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