India ranks third in the world after China, USA and Russia in terms of number of dams. The country has about 4710 completed large dams. With the ever increasing population and the consequent increasing demand for water for various uses, it has become necessary not only to construct new dams but also rehabilitate and maintain existing ones. The dams provide storages to tide over the temporal and spatial variation in rainfall for meeting the year round requirements of drinking water supply, irrigation, hydropower and industries in the country which lead to development of the national economy. Dams have helped immensely in attaining self-sufficiency in food grain production besides flood control and drought mitigation.
At a time when the hydropower sector has taken a beating in India, power major NTPC is planning to set up the country’s biggest hydel project in Arunchal Pradesh. The hydro power project at Siang will alone generate between 10,000 to 12,000 MW when completed, making it the largest hydroelectric dam in South Asia. And 27,000 MW when collaborated with other power companies.
Below are the 10 Largest Hydroelectric Dams in India in terms of Power Generation.
1.) The Tehri Dam – is the highest dam in India and tenth tallest dam in the world. It is a multi-purpose rock and earth-fill embankment dam on the Bhagirathi River near Tehri in Uttarakhand, India. The dam is a 260.5 metres (855 ft) high rock and earth-fill embankment dam. Its length is 575 metres. Tehri Hydro Power Complex (2400 MW), comprises the following components:
- Tehri Dam & Hydro Power Plant (1000 MW)
- Koteshwar Hydro Electric Project (400 MW)
- Tehri Pumped Storage Plant (PSP) (1000 MW) (Total capacity 2400 MW)
2.) The Koyna Hydroelectric Dam – is the second largest hydroelectric power plant of India. The total Installed capacity of the project is 1,960 MW. The project consists of 4 stages of power generation. All the generators are located in the underground Powerhouses excavated deep inside the surrounding mountains of the Western Ghats. A dam foot powerhouse also contributes to the electricity generation.
1st stage 4 x 70 MW = 280 MW
2nd stage 4 x 80 MW = 320 MW
Dam foot 2 x 20 MW = 40 MW
3rd stage 4 x 80 MW = 320 MW
4th stage 4 x 250 MW = 1,000 MW
Total capacity 1,960 MW
3.) The Srisailam Dam – is a dam constructed across the Krishna River at Srisailam in the Kurnool district in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India and is the 3rd largest capacity hydroelectric project in the country with 1,670 MW generation of electricity.
Turbines left 6 × 150MW reversible Francis-type
Turbines Right 7 × 110MW Francis type
Total capacity 1,670 MW
4.) The Nathpa Jhakri Dam – is a concrete gravity dam on the Satluj River in Himachal Pradesh, India. The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power production and it supplies a 1,500 MW underground power station with water.
Turbines 6 × 250 MW Francis-type
Total capacity 1,500 MW
5.) The Sardar Sarovar Dam – is a gravity dam on the Narmada River near Navagam, Gujarat in India. It is the largest dam and part of the Narmada Valley Project, a large hydraulic engineering project involving the construction of a series of large irrigation and hydroelectric multi-purpose dams on the Narmada River.
Turbines: 6 x 200 MW Francis pump-turbine
Canal: 5 x 50 MW Kaplan-type
Total capacity 1,450 MW
6.) The Bhakra-Nangal Dam – is a concrete gravity dam across the Sutlej River, and is in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh in India. Its reservoir, known as the “Gobind Sagar”, stores up to 9.34 billion cubic metres of water, making it the second largest reservoir in India, enough to drain the whole of Chandigarh, parts of Haryana, Punjab and Delhi.
Turbines 5 x 108 MW, 5 x 157 MW Francis-type
Total capacity 1325 MW
7.) The Indirasagar Dam – is a multipurpose project of Madhya Pradesh on the Narmada River at Narmadanagar in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh in India. The reservoir of 12,200,000,000 m3 was created. It withholds the largest reservoir in India, in terms of storage of water. Indira Sagar Project is a multipurpose Project with an installed capacity of 1,000 MW.
Turbines 8 Units of 125 MW each
Total capacity 1000 MW
8.) Nagarjuna Sagar Dam – is a masonry dam on the Krishna River at Nagarjuna Sagar in the border of Guntur and Nalgonda districts of Andhra Pradesh State, India. The construction duration of the dam was between the years of 1955 and 1967.
Turbines 1 x 110 MW Francis turbines,
Turbines 7 x 100.8 MW reversible Francis
Total capacity 816 MW
9.) The Idukki Dam - located in Kerala, India, is a 168.91 m (554 ft) tall arch dam. The dam stands with a beautiful view between the two mountains – Kuravanmala and Kurathimala. It was constructed and is owned by the Kerala State Electricity Board. It supports a 780 MW hydroelectric power station in Moolamattom.
Turbines 6 x 130 MW Pelton-type
Total capacity 780 MW
10.) Hirakud Dam – is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 km from Sambalpur in the state of Odisha in India. Behind the dam extends a lake, Hirakud Reservoir, 55 km long. It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects started after India’s independence.
Turbines Power House I (Burla): 3 x 37.5 MW, 2 x 24 MW Kaplan-type
Power House II (Chiplima): 3 x 24 MW
Total capacity 307.5 MW