25 Largest Hydroelectric Power Plants In The World [2024]

Want to know the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world? In 2012, the report has it that the Three Gorges Dam, which is situated in the Chinese province of Hubei, became the world’s largest hydroelectric power station succeeding the Itaipu hydroelectric power station (Brazil/Paraguay).

As of the time this article was published the Three Gorges dam has an installed capacity of 22,500 megawatts (MW), compared to 14,000 MW for the Itaipu dam.

Largest Hydroelectric Power Plants In The World

However, despite the great difference in installed capacity, the two plants generate very similar amounts of electricity per year: Itaipu 103 TWh (2016) and Three Gorges 111.8 TWh (2020). The reason is purely weather. 

The Three Gorges Dam experiences up to six months of the year in which there is very little water available to generate power, while the Paraná River that feeds Itaipu has much less seasonal variation in flow.

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Both dams are two of only six in the world that exceeds 10,000 megawatts of installed capacity. The rest are: the Xiluodu Dam (13,860 MW), the Belo Monte Dam (11,233 MW), the Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Power Plant (10,235 MW) and the Wudongde Dam (10,200 MW).

The Largest Hydroelectric Power Plants In The World

#NameLocationRiverInstalled capacity (MW)Maximum annual production (TWh)Completion year
1.Three Gorges DamChinaYangtze river22,500111.82011
2.Itaipu DamBrazil / ParaguayParana River14,0001031984/1991, 2003
3.Xiluodu DamChinaJinsha river13,86055.22014
4.Belo Monte DamBrazilXingu River11,23339.52016/2019
5.Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric PlantVenezuelaCaroni river10,23553.411986
6.Wudongde damChinaJinsha river10,200392020/2021
7.Tucurui DamBrazilTocantins River8,37041.431984
8.Baihetan DamChinaJinsha river8,0002021/?
9.Grand Coulee DamUSAColumbia river6,809201942/1950, 1973, 1975/1980, 1983/1984, 1991
10.Xiangjiaba DamChinaJinsha river6,44830.72014
11.Longtan damChinaHongshui river6,42618.72007/2009
12.Sayano–Shushenskaya hydroelectric power stationRussiaYenisei River6,40026.81985/1989, 2010/2014
13.Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric damRussiaYenisei River6,000151967/1972
14.Nuozhadu DamChinaMekong river5,85023.92014
15.Robert BourassaCanadaRio La Grande5,61626.51979/1981
16Churchill Falls Hydroelectric Power StationCanadaChurchill river5,428351971/1974
17.Tarbela DamPakistanIndus river4,888131976
18.Jinping-II DamChinaYalong River4,80024.232014
19.Bratsk hydroelectric power stationRussiaAngara River4,51522.61961/1966
20.laxiwa damChinaYellow River420010.22010
21.Xiaowan DamChinaMekong river4,200192010
22.Ust-Ilimsk ReservoirRussiaAngara River3,84021.71980
23.Jirau DamBrazilMadeira River3,75019.12014/2016
24.Jinping-I DamChinaYalong River3,600172014
25.Fengning Pumped Storage StationChina3,6003.42019/2021

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