This is the series of articles on ten largest hydroelectric power plants of the world. In this article following hydroelectric power plants have been described: Guri Dam, Tucurui Dam and Grand Coulee Dam
3) Guri Dam
Guri Dam is the hydroelectric power plant developed on river Caroni River in the Bolivar state of Venezuela. The official name of Guri Dam is Central Hidroelectrica Simon Bolivar. The construction Guri Dam started in the year 1963 and it was completed in two phases in the years 1978 and 1986. In the first phase the Guri Dam produced 2065 MW of power from 10 power generation units. The second phase of Guri Dam comprises of 10 more power generation units each with capacity of 630MW. Thus the total power production capacity of the hydroelectric power plant of Guri Dam is 10,200 MW. Guri Dam is 1300 meters long and 162 meters high.
Since long time Guri Dam has been the center of controversy since the lake created by the dam has led to wide scale destruction of the forests which were renowned for biodiversity and home of number of rare plant and animal species. However, Guri Dam fulfills more than 80% of the total power requirements of Venezuela, thus making utmost use of the renewable energy of water.
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4) Tucurui Dam
Tucurui Dam is the hydroelectric power plant developed in Tocantins River in Tucurui county of Brazil. This is next largest hydroelectric power plant in Brazil after Itaipu. There are total 24 power generation units installed at Tucurui hydroelectric power plants with the total power generation capacity of 8370MW. The total length of the dam is 11 kilometers and the height is 78 meters. The total water discharge from Tucurui dam spillway is 120,000 cubic meter per second which is largest in the world. Work on Tucurui hydroelectric power plant was completed in the year 1984.
5) Grand Coulee Dam
Grand Coulee Dam is the hydroelectric power plant developed on Columbia River in Washington State of United States. It is the largest hydroelectric power plant in US. The lake formed by the reservoir of Grand Coulee Dam has been given name Franklin Delano Roosevelt Lake, after the US president who presided over the construction of the dam.
The total length of Grand Coulee Dam is 1586 meters and its height is 168 meters, which is more than the height of Grand Pyramid of Giza. The hydraulic height of the Grand Coulee Dam is 115 meters, which is twice the height of Niagara Falls. The total width of the spillway is 168 meters. The total amount of the concrete used in the construction of Grand Coulee Dam is good enough to construct a sidewalk of four feet wide and four inch deep around the whole equator twice.
The construction work on Grand Coulee Dam started in the year 1933. During construction the design was changed so that more people can be employed, more power can be generated and wider areas can be irrigated. Work had to be stopped for many years due to Second World War and other reasons. The work on Grand Coulee hydroelectric power plants was completed in the year 1980 with the total power generation capacity of 6809 MW. Grand Coulee is the gravity type of hydroelectric power plant.
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