Three Gorges Dam Completed

Marking its final completion, the final turbine of China's Three Gorges dam has been connected to the power grid. This was the last of a total of 32 units of 700-megawatts each, which now has brought total capacity up to 22.5 gigawatts, according to a report in the London-based Guardian. Three Gorges accounts for 11% of the country's total hydroelectric capacity.

Three Gorges region as seen from space, imaged by Landsat 7

The Yangtze in the Three Gorges region

"The complete operation of all the generators makes the Three Gorges Dam the world's largest hydropower project, and the largest base for clean energy," Zhang Cheng, general manager of the project's operator, China Yangtze Power, stated at a ceremony.

The construction of the world's biggest hydropower plant began in 1994, and its first generating unit was connected to the grid in July 2003. The official state news agency Xinhua said the dam had already generated a total of 564.8 billion kilowatt-hours, saving nearly 200 million tons of coal a year.

NAWAPA XXI, as some hydropower engineers have noted, would “dwarf” even a project this big.

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