China Baihetan hydro dam world’s 2nd largest

China’s Baihetan Dam 2nd largest hydropower station in world

The Baihetan hydropower project is a 16GW hydroelectric facility on the Jinsha River, a tributary of the Yangtze River in south-west China. It is the world’s second biggest power station in terms of generating capacity after the Three Gorges Dam. The Dam project entered its full operation period as it was delivered to China Yangzte Power Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation on Jan 31, 2024.

The hydroelectric project can generate 16GW of energy through its 16 generating units. It commenced partial operations in April 2021 and began generating electricity through two turbines by June 2021. The project is capable of generating approximately 62 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy annually and will offset more than 51 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

The Baihetan hydropower plant has a water storage capacity of 20.62 billion m³ and flood control reservoir capacity of 7.5 billion m³, which is the third-largest after the Three Gorges Dam and Danjiangkou Reservoir.

The main structures of the Baihetan project include the dam, flood discharge structures, water diversion and power generation facilities. The dam has a double-curvature arch which is approximately 300m tall, with a crest elevation of 827m, crest width of 13m and maximum width of 72m at the base.

China’s President Xi Jinping said the dam is “a major project in China’s west-east power transmission program, (and) is the largest and most technically difficult hydropower project currently under construction in the world,” adding that the project marked a major breakthrough in China’s high-end equipment manufacturing.

Source: Modern China, 27 Feb 2024.