The Three Gorges Dam is located on the Yangtze River, also called Chang Jiang. Where Is The 3 Gorges Dam Located In China? This is located just west of Yichang City in China’s Hubei Province.
What Is The 3 Gorges Dam?
The Three Gorges Dam is considered the largest engineering project that was ever done in China. It is a hydroelectric gravity dam with a very large capacity, spanning the Yangtze River through the Sandouping located in Yiling District, and also through Hubei Province in Yichang, and then through Central China, going downstream through the Three Gorges.
The dam’s construction began in 1994 and was completed in 2006, and at the time of completion, it was the largest dam ever constructed in the world. This dam, along with the accompanying hydroelectric plant, were both built in phases, and the construction works took several phases over the course of several years, and it reached its full capacity in 2012. The construction of this dam has been very influential, and some of its biggest benefits are that the dam would allow for the easy navigation of the ongoing freighters while also generating the right amount of hydroelectric power.
This powerful dam generates a significant amount of power, averaging 95±20 TWh of electricity annually, depending on the annual precipitation received annually in the Yangtze river basin. In 2012, for example, after the very extensive monsoon rains in 2020, the dam’s total annual production peaked at 112TWh annually, breaking the 103TWh record that had been set in 2016 in the Itaipu Dam.
The dam’s main body was finished in 2006, but the power plant for the dam project wasn’t complete and fully functional until July 4th, 2012, when the last main water turbine positioned in the underground plant started hydroelectric production. Today, each of the turbines has a maximum capacity of about 70MW, and so, coupling all the 32 turbines in the dam with just 2 smaller generators of a capacity of 50MW each powering the power plant, the total capacity of electricity from the dam is a whopping 22,500MW. In 2015, the last component of the hydroelectric power dam, called the ship lift, was completed.
It’s worth noting that the construction of the dam was originally envisioned by the expert Sun Yat-Sen in 1919 in The International Development of China. In his statement, he envisioned that the dam would have a total capacity of 30million horsepower or about 22GW on the Three Gorge. And in 1932, the Nationalist government, under the leadership of the Chiang Kai-Shek, began the important preliminary works on the dam’s creation, but in 1939 when the Second Sino-Japanese War started, and the Japanese military occupied Yichang as they surveyed the area, the dam’s initial design and the Otani plan as complete. This was in anticipation of the Japanese victory over China. Design plans for the Yangtze River Project kicked off in 1944 but were halted in 1947 during the Chinese Civil War. In the years between 1949 and 2008, design work went on amid political challenges and unrest. In 2015, at the ship lift’s completion,
3Gorges Dam Size
In terms of its dimensions, the dam is made of concrete and steel. It is 2335m long, and the maximum height is 185m. The government’s estimate of the total value of the project was 180billion Yuan. the dam’s maximum water level reached the reservoir was 172.5m, meaning they didn’t reach the initially proposed maximum water level of 175m.
Why Was The 3 Gorges Dam Built
The primary intention of the dam’s construction was for the dam to provide the best possible level of protection against floods. And by offering more than enough storage space, the dam has reduced the risk of flooding downstream Yangtze River, which had suffered many deadly floods in the past.
Given the size and the level of engineering that was put into the construction of this dam, it makes sense that the construction of one of the largest dams in the world was done out of the potential seen in energy generation, and today, the dam is the biggest, most effective hydroelectric power plant.
The dam has also been used for navigation purposes for the oceangoing freighters. And in addition to the production of electricity, the dam has been used to increase the shipping capacity of the Yangtze River.
When Was The 3 Gorges Dam Finished?
This project was nothing short of an engineering feat, and it was completed in 2006 but was fully functional in 2012.
Three Gorges Dam Cost
The Three Gorges Dam’s total cost at completion was 203 billion CNY, which is equal to $31.765billion.
How Has The Three Gorges Dam Benefited China?
The dam has not only increased the power production in the country, making it possible for the country to take on huge infrastructure development projects but it’s also reduced the country’s reliance on the grid.
The dam has also been one of the best of China’s safest energy sources. Hydroelectric power is a great alternative to fossil fuels, which generates zero greenhouse gases, and has led to an improved quality of air around the region.
Reduced flooding. The massive size of the dam has increased the electricity needs of the Chinese large Yangtze River, and by trapping most of the river’s water, the dam has reduced most of the catastrophic floods that have been faced by the region in the past. Unfortunately, the dam’s construction meant that some things had to be avoided or dealt with. Some of the damage faced from the construction of the dam include the destruction of countless natural features, as well as archaeological and architectural sites. The dam’s reservoir has also been blamed for the increased number of earthquakes and landslides in the region.
Sea-freighting has also been enhanced by the dam’s creation and the large size.