Here are the Top 10 Largest Hydroelectric Power Plants in the World

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Hydroelectric power is the leading renewable source of electricity generation in the world with hydroelectric power plants involved. This renewable energy source supplies approximately 71% of the renewable electricity in the world. It also generates nearly 20% of the electricity from other types of sources. Using information obtained from the Hydroenergy Association, this article provides the top ten largest hydroelectric power companies in the world. This is in terms of their production capacity and facilities, and their installed capacities.

1. The Three Gorges Hydroelectric Power Plant, China

Topping the list is the Three Gorges Hydroelectric power plant. It is considered the world’s largest hydropower plant. The power station has 32 turbines of 700MW each as well as two 50MW power generators. It is located in one of the three gorges of the Yangtze River with an estimated annual energy output of 85TWh. The power that is generated by the hydropower plant is distributed across nine provinces and two major cities in China. One of these cities is Shanghai.Largest hydroelectric power plants

2. Itaipu Hydroelectric Power Station, Brazil and Paraguay.

The Itaipu hydroelectric power station ranks as the world’s second-largest hydroelectric power company. The station is located at the Brazil-Paraguay border with an installed capacity of 14,000MW. Itaipu generates 70TWH of electricity annually and supplies an estimated 17% of Brazil’s energy consumption. It supplies 72% of the energy consumed in Paraguay. It also enables the avoidance of 67.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year.Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam

3. The Guri Hydropower Project

Also known as the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric plant, the Guri power project ranks as the third largest hydroelectric power plant in the world. The facility has an installed capacity of 10,200MW with its power being generated from the Guri Dam. The dam is a concrete embankment and gravity dam that is 7,246 meters long and 162 meters high. It is located on the Caroni River in Bolivar State in Southeast Venezuela. The Guri hydropower plant is responsible for the provision of 12,900GWh of energy in Venezuela. This means that the Guri hydroelectric power company produces around 70% of the country’s energy needs. The Guri Reservoir has an area of 4,250 square miles.Largest hydroelectric power plants

4. Tucurui Hydropower Company

The Tucurui Hydroelectric power company ranks as the fourth largest hydropower company in the world. The company utilizes its hydropower from the Tucuri Dam. Located on the Tocantins River, Tucurui Dam is the first large-scale hydropower project to be built in the Amazon rainforest. The 8 370 MW Tucurui power plant was constructed in 1984.  The twenty-five-unit plant took four years to build. Almost 80% of the energy generated in Brazil and consumed domestically originates from hydropower plants.Ej Atlas

5. The Grand Coulee, United States of America

The Grand Coulee hydroelectric power plant is the world’s fifth-largest hydropower plant in terms of generating capacity. The plant is located on the Columbia River in Washington, U.S., with an installed capacity of 6,809 MW. The hydroelectric power company is responsible for the production of approximately 35% of renewable energy. It is also responsible for 6.1% of the total electricity that is used in the United States. The Grand Coulee is currently undergoing major renovations.Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center (U.S. National Park Service)

6. Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydropower Plant, Russia

The Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power plant is located on the Yenisei River in Khakassia, Russia. It ranks sixth in our top ten largest hydropower plants in the world. The facility is operated by the company, RusHydro and has a generating capacity of 6,400MW. It is responsible for the generation of 23.5TWh of energy each year, which is used in Russia. The plant was temporarily shut down after an accident in 2009. The replacement of the damaged turbines and equipment took 5 years to complete, with its reopening in 2014.

Largest Hydroelectric Power Plants

7. Longtan Hydroelectric power plant, China

The Longtan hydropower company is the world’s seventh-largest hydropower plant with a generating capacity of 6,300MW. It is also the sixth largest in Asia. Construction of the power plant only took two years from 2007 to 2009 to become fully operational. It generates an annual energy power capacity of 18.7TWh. Its power is generated from the Longtan Dam. The dam is the tallest hydroelectric-generating plant in the world. This concrete gravity dam is over seven hundred feet high and 2,785 feet long.Largest Hydroelectric power plants

8. Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Power plant, Russia

The Krasnoyarsk is currently the eighth largest hydroelectric power plant in the world with a generating capacity of 6,000MW. The plant was completed in 1972 with its construction starting in 1956. The plant consists of 12 generating units with a capacity of 500MW each, generating 18.4TWh of power annually. The plant derives its hydropower from the Krasnoyarsk Dam which generates power for the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant. The dam is 407 feet long.The Moscow Times on X: "A night-time view of the Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric power station on the Yenisei River outside Krasnoyarsk, #Siberia" / X

9. The Robert-Bourassa Hydropower Plant, Canada

Formerly known as La Grande-2 plant, it was renamed for long-standing Quebec Premier, Robert Bourassa. The Robert-Bourassa generating station is a hydroelectric power plant on the La Grande River in Canada. Its 16 units were gradually commissioned between 1979 and 1981. With an installed capacity of 5 616 MW, it is the largest power station owned by Hydro Quebec. This also makes it the largest underground power station in the world. The Robert-Bourassa HPP is located underground about 6 km downstream of the main dam. Annually the plant generates about 26,500 GWh.Robert-Bourassa Generating Station - Super Engineering Website

10. Churchill Falls, Canada

Lastly, closing off the top ten list of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world is Churchill Falls located in Canada. The 5,428MW  generating station is located on the Churchill River in Newfoundland, Canada. This is also an underground power station and is the second-largest in Canada after the Robert Bourassa. Currently, Churchill Falls generates 1% of North America’s hydroelectric power.THE CHURCHILL FALLS PROJECT – Past Due

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