10 Largest Power Generating Hydroelectric Dams in India

 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. Biggest Dams in India 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:

The Tehri Dam
Tehri Dam
  1. Tehri Dam & Hydro Power Plant (1000 MW)
  2. Koteshwar Hydro Electric Project (400 MW)
  3. 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.

Koynaa_dam
Koyna Hydroelectric Project

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.

sri

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.

Nathpa Jhakri Dam
Nathpa Jhakri Dam

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.

Sardar Sarovar Dam
Sardar Sarovar Dam

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.

The Bhakra-Nagal Dam
Bhakra-Nagal Dam

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.

The Indirasagar Dam

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.

Nagarjuna Sagar Dam

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.

IdukkiDam

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.

Hirakud Dam
Hirakud Dam

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

Above is the list of Largest and Biggest Dams in India.

12 thoughts on “10 Largest Power Generating Hydroelectric Dams in India”

  1. Normally I don’t read write-up in blogs, however i would like to express that this particular write-up incredibly required me to see and do so! Ones creating taste has been shocked me personally. Thanks a lot, good document.

  2. There are certain range in himalayas where there is perpetual high wind. You can plant
    thousands of wind mills and produce electricity. The engineering work does not take long like a construction of a dam. Develop a town around for retd personnel. Like china is going to build shangrilla in tibet and open it to the world. And they will earn $. You will thus develop the entire himalayan region. Dont waste time to construct roads. Use
    helicopters instead.

  3. Good Information.. But i wonder why we are far behind other countries with dams producing electricity with more than 5k – 6k mw. Despite so much scarcity of energy and constant power cuts. I think its high time now and its better we now start understand the actual caliber of the hydro electric power plant than those of any other( majorly thermal) and take onus to build and satisfy India’s high energy requirements.

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