Top 10+ Biggest Dams in the World

It can be said that hydroelectric dams are the most important source of electricity today. Have you ever visited a hydroelectric dam? Below, we will reveal to you the top 10+ biggest dams in the world list.

1. Three Gorges Dam

Top 10+ Biggest Dams in the World
Three Gorges Dam

Topping the list of top 10+ biggest dams in the world is Three Gorges Dam. The Three Gorges Dam is located at Tam Dauping, Yichang, Hubei Province, China. Construction of the dam began in 1994. Its location crosses the Yangtze River – the third largest river in the world, located between the cities of Yichang (Hubei province) and Peiling (Chongqing city).

Except for the lock, this project was completed and fully operational on 4 July 2012, when the final main turbines began to generate electricity. Each turbine has a capacity of 700 MW. The dam body was completed in 2006. In addition to the 32 main turbines, there are 2 smaller generators (50 MW each) serving the plant; the total generating capacity of the dam is 22,500 MW.

Although it is the largest dam in the world, its construction has received mixed reviews from inside and outside China. Construction proposals are based on economic benefits from flood control and hydroelectric power. The objections were mainly due to fears about the future of the 1.9 million people who will be displaced by rising water levels, the loss of many sites of archeological and cultural value, as well as impacts on the environment.

Made of concrete and steel, the dam has a length of 2,355 meters and a crest 185 meters above sea level. The work used 27.2 million cubic meters of concrete (mainly for the dam wall), 463,000 tons of steel (enough to build 63 Eiffel towers, and excavated 102.6 million cubic meters of soil. The dam wall is 181 meters high above the rock foundation.

The maximum water level of the dam is 175 m above sea level, 110 m higher than the river level downstream, the reservoir area has an average length of about 660 km and a width of 1.12 km. The reservoir area has a volume of 39.3 km3 and a total water surface area of ​​1045 km2. When completed, the lake’s total inundated land area will be 632 square kilometers, compared with 1350 square kilometers for the Itaipu Dam.

2. Itaipu Dam

Itaipu Dam

Holding second place in the list of top 10+ biggest dams in the world is Itaipu Dam. This dam on the Paraná River is located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.

The name “Itaipu” is taken from an island near the dam site. The Itaipu dam’s hydroelectric power plant set a world record with an electricity output of 103,098,366(MWh) and surpassed the power output of the plant. Three Gorges Dam in 2015 and 2016. The installed capacity of the plant is 14 GW, with 20 generating sets.

Out of twenty generating sets, 10 generating sets at 50 Hz supply to Paraguay and 10 generating sets at 60 Hz supply Brazil.

The amount of concrete to build this dam is estimated to be enough to build 210 stadiums and 380 Eiffel towers. Currently, Itaipu meets about 15% of the electricity demand in Brazil and about 75% of the electricity used in Paraguay. Under the joint venture agreement, each country enjoys 50% of the electricity output. However, Paraguay only has a very small demand for electricity and is forced to sell unsold electricity to Brazil at the production price.

In 1994, the American Society of Civil Engineers voted Itaipu Dam as one of the seven modern wonders of the world.

3. Xiluodu Dam


Top 10+ Biggest Dams in the World
Xiluodu Dam

Xiluodu Dam holds third place in the list of top 10+ biggest dams in the world. Xiluodu Dam is an arch dam on the Jinsha River, a tributary of the Yangtze River in China. Located near Xiluodu Town in Yongshan County, Yunnan Province, but the dam is located in Leibo County, Sichuan Province. The main purpose of the dam is to produce hydroelectricity, and the dam’s power plant has an installed capacity of 13,860 MW. In addition, the dam also plays a role in flood control, silt control, and regulatory discharge to improve downstream water availability. Construction of the dam and power plant started in 2005 and the first generating unit was commissioned in 2013, the last unit was commissioned in 2014. It is operated by China Yangtze Power and currently is the third-largest power plant with the fourth tallest dam in the world.

Xiluodu Dam is 285.5 m high and 700 m long. It is the third tallest arch dam in the world. The dam’s reservoir has a volume of 12,67,000,000 cubic meters (10,270,000 acre-ft). The dam has a number of spillways including seven surface outlets, eight in the middle, and four overflow tunnels. All spillways have a maximum discharge capacity of 32,278 m3/s (1,139,900 cu ft/s). The hydropower plant includes 18 Francis turbine generators 770 MW with a total installed capacity of 13,860 MW.

4. Guri Dam

Guri Dam

Ranked 4th on the list of top 10+ biggest dams in the world. The Guri Dam is a gravity dam in the state of Bolívar, Venezuela on the Caroni River built between 1963 and 1969. The length is 7,426 m and the height is 162 m. As of 2009, this hydroelectric dam is the third-largest in the world, with a capacity of 10,235 MW. The Guri Dam alone provides 73% of Venezuela’s electricity. The Guri Dam reservoir has a surface area of 4,250 square kilometers (1,641 sq mi). The Guri Dam Reservoir is one of the largest lakes on Earth.

5. Tucurui Dam

Top 10+ Biggest Dams in the World
Tucurui Dam

Holding 5th place in the list of top 10+ biggest dams in the world is the Tucurui Dam. The Tucuruí Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Tocantins River, Tucuruí District, Pará State, Brazil. The main purpose of the dam is to produce hydroelectricity and regulate water. This is the first large-scale hydroelectric project in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. The installed capacity of the 25-unit plant is 8,370 megawatts (11,220,000 hp). Construction of Phase I began in 1980 and ended in 1984 while Phase II began in 1998 and ended in 2010. The dam was featured in the 1985 film The Emerald Forest.

The main part of the Tucurui Dam is 78 m high and 6.9 km long. The Mojú and Caraipé earth dikes increase the total length by 12,515 m. The Tucurui Dam provides electricity to 13 million people and 60% of the electricity is used by industries, creating about 2,000 jobs. But the construction of the dam also attracts a large number of migrants to this area leading to deforestation and many other negative impacts.

6. Xiangjiaba Dam

Xiangjiaba Dam

Holding 6th place in the list of top 10+ biggest dams in the world is Xiangjiaba Dam. Xiangjiaba Dam is a large gravity dam on the Jinsha River, a tributary of the Yangtze River in Yunnan Province and Sichuan Province, southwestern China. This hydroelectric power plant has 8 Francis turbines, 4 units with a capacity of 812 MW, and 4 units operating at 800 MW, with a total installed capacity of 6,448 MW. Xiangjiaba Dam is China’s third-largest hydroelectric dam after the Three Gorges Dam and the Xiluodu Dam. Construction began in November 2006 and the first generating unit was commissioned in October 2012. The last generating set was commissioned on 9 July 2014.

7. Grand Coulee Dam

Top 10+ Biggest Dams in the World
Grand Coulee Dam

Holding 7th place in the list of top 10+ biggest dams in the world is the Grand Coulee Dam. The Grand Coulee Dam is a force dam on the Columbia River in the US state of Washington built to produce hydroelectric power and provide irrigation. It was built between 1933 and 1942, initially with two power plants. A third power plant was completed in 1974 to increase energy production.

It is the largest power generation facility in the United States and one of the largest concrete structures in the world. The dam proposal was at the center of a fierce debate in the 1920s between two groups: one wanted to irrigate the ancient Grand Coulee with a canto generate, and the other favored damming and pumping. country. The dam supporters prevailed in 1933, but for financial reasons, the original design for a 79 m dam was shorter than envisioned that the dam would not be able to support irrigation. The U.S. The Bureau of Reclamation and a consortium of three companies called MWAK (Mason-Walsh-Atkinson Kier) began construction that year. 

8. Longtan Dam

Longtan Dam

Holding 8th place in the list of top 10+ biggest dams in the world is Longtan Dam. The Longtan Dam is part of a hydropower project in southwestern Guangxi intending to generate energy to stimulate development in this area. China spent $3.2 billion and took eight years to complete. This is the largest dam in the “10 steps” on the Red River. Its scale in China is only inferior to the hydroelectric project of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. Longtan is a dam 216.2 m high and 849 m long. This is the tallest concrete gravity dam in the world.

9. Krasnoyarsk Dam

Top 10+ Biggest Dams in the World
Krasnoyarsk Dam

The Krasnoyarsk Dam is a hydroelectric dam built across the Yenisei River in northern Divnogorsk state, Russia. Built between 1956 and 1972 and provided 6,000 MW of electricity, mainly used to power KrAZ (Krasnoyarsk Aluminieviseveral Zavod, Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant). Both power and aluminum plants are controlled by the RUSAL company. From the commissioning of its 10th turbine in April 1971, the station was the largest electricity producer in the world until the Grand Coulee Dam reached 6,181 MW in 1983. To this day, it holds the 9th position on the list. book top 10+ biggest dams in the world.

10. Robert-Bourassa Dam

Robert-Bourassa Dam

The last place on the list of top 10+ biggest dams in the world is the Robert-Bourassa Dam. This is a major hydroelectric development under construction in northern Québec, Canada. The project, managed by Hydro-Québec, will, when completed, include a series of hydroelectric dams on rivers flowing from the interior of northern Québec into James Bay.

Above are the top 10 biggest dams in the world that plays an extremely important role in providing power in the world. Not only that, but the scenery around these dams is also very poetic. Which dam have you had the opportunity to admire? Please share it with us.

By Eryk Wu Address: 3999 Pine Forest Hollow Trail Houston, TX 77084 Phone: +12813473007 Email: Website:

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