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12 Largest Hydroelectric Dams and Power Plants in the World

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Prepare to feel utter amazement after reading about 12 largest hydroelectric dams and power plants in the world. These constructions are of such gigantic proportions and so powerful you’ll feel nothing but respect for their builders and designers.

People have become real masters of harnessing the nature’s elements to serve their purpose, but rarely does any look so impressive like hydroelectric dams and plants. Just think about it. Water is powerful, unpredictable and often uncontrollable. Now you should imagine a large, deep basin obstructed by a human-made obstacle. The water giant is actually being used continuously to make our everyday lives easier. You’re probably reading this thanks to one of the hydroelectric power plants in your country. Should you wish to know what country is the largest producer of hydroelectricity, check out 8 Countries that Produce the Most Hydroelectric Power in the World and see which countries are absolute champions in generating hydroelectric power.

12 Largest Hydroelectric Dams and Power Plants in the World

Lynn Y/

Talking about hydroelectric power, that was the major criteria in our search for the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. Even though we have already found the answer to what is the largest hydroelectric dam in the United States, and wrote about largest hydroelectric dams in USA, we used a different methodology in it. Here we were primarily guided by the definition by the US Department of Energy that large hydroelectric power plants are those that possess a capacity of more than 30 megawatts (MW). Just to make you intrigued, let us tell you we’ll be talking gigawatts in this article.

Now that we have answered what the largest hydroelectric dams are let’s talk about their locations. Do you already have a few countries in mind? Lately, there has been a lot of talk about largest hydroelectric dams in Africa. Admittedly, the Grand Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia is a real beauty, but with its annual production of 6,000 megawatts, it is hardly a match for our giants. Among some other most productive hydroelectric power stations in Africa there are less catchy names: the Katse Arch Dam, The Aswan High Dam, the Cahora Bassa Dam and so on. If India is your second guess about the largest hydroelectric dams in the world, then guess again! The Tehri Dam Hydro Electric with its 2,400 MW is the largest hydroelectric power plant in India, but again, too tiny for this list.

Our sources in this search were WorldAtlasEnergy Business Review and Power-Technology. We noted down the plants and their annual generating capacity and ranked them according to it. Before you continue reading, it has to be emphasized that the given power ability is what the plants are able of producing in ideal conditions. In real life, however, the situation may vary due to water’s unpredictable nature, as we have already mentioned. By the way, in addition to their power and location, you’ll also encounter some interesting facts about these colossal buildings.

Now let’s take a look at 12 largest hydroelectric dams and power plants in the world. Prepare to be wowed!

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