Largest Power Plants in the World: Unveiling the Giants

Largest Power Plants in the World
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The Three Gorges Dam in China is the largest power plant in the world, with a capacity of 22,500 MW. Itaipu Dam in Brazil and Paraguay ranks second with a capacity of 14,000 MW.

These power plants are significant sources of renewable energy, with the Three Gorges Dam harnessing the power of water and Itaipu Dam utilizing hydropower. On the other hand, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Japan is the largest nuclear power plant in the world.

Unveiling Largest Power Plants in the World

  • Hydroelectric: Includes behemoths like the Three Gorges Dam, Baihetan Dam, and Itaipu Dam.
  • Nuclear: Notable nuclear power plants include Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, Bruce Power, and Kori Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Thermal: Major thermal power stations are found globally, such as the Gravelines Nuclear Power Station and Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Hydropower: Other notable hydropower plants are the Grand Coulee Dam and Wudongde Dam.
  • Wind Farms: Wind power is gaining popularity, with wind farms being established worldwide.
  • Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Plant: This technology combines gas turbine and steam turbine systems.
  • Fossil Fuel: Despite environmental concerns, many countries rely on fossil fuel power stations.

Largest Hydroelectric power plant: TOP 5

1. Three Gorges Dam, China (22.5 GW)

Technical facts:

  • Capacity: 22.5 GW (enough to power 70 million homes!)
  • Dam Height: 305 meters (taller than the Eiffel Tower!)
  • Turbines: 32 massive units, each weighing 650 tons
  • Annual Generation: 98.8 TWh (equivalent to 10% of China’s electricity)
Credit : Wikipedia
  • The dam is a gravity dam, which means it relies on the weight of the concrete structure to hold the water back.
  • The dam has a generating capacity of 22,500 MW, which is equivalent to about 15 nuclear reactors.
  • The dam has a spillway that can release water at a maximum rate of 116,000 cubic meters per second to prevent overtopping.
  • The dam has slowed down the Earth’s rotation by about 0.06 microseconds per year, due to the redistribution of water mass41.

Historic facts:

  • The dam was envisioned by Sun Yat Sen, the “Father of the Nation”, in 1919 as part of his international development plan for China3.
  • The dam was officially completed in 2006, but it reached its full generating capacity in 2012. The construction of the dam took about 17 years and cost about $37 billion.
  • The dam is the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity, surpassing the Itaipu Dam in Brazil and Paraguay, which has a capacity of 14,000 MW3.
  • The dam has displaced at least 1.3 million people and submerged many natural features and archaeological sites. It has also altered the ecosystem and biodiversity of the Yangtze River35.
  • The dam has achieved a world record of 112 Terawatt-hours of electricity production in 2020, thanks to the active monsoon season
  • Construction began in 1994, displacing over 1.3 million people.
  • It’s a crucial element in China’s flood control strategy

2. Itaipu Dam, Brazil & Paraguay (14 GW)

  • Capacity: 14 GW (powers both Paraguay and significant parts of Brazil)
  • Dam Length: 7,235 meters (stretches across the border of two countries)
  • Turbines: 20 units, each generating 700 MW
  • Annual Generation: 103 TWh (one of the highest in the world)
  • Construction involved a complex international collaboration between Brazil and Paraguay.
  • It held the record for the world’s largest hydroelectric plant for over 30 years.
  • The project faced criticism for its impact on indigenous communities and the environment.

3. Xiluodu Dam, China (13.86 GW)

  • Another Chinese marvel, Xiluodu Dam, tames the Jinsha River with a capacity of 13.86 GW.
  • Completed in 2014, it’s renowned for its innovative design, adapting to the region’s complex geological conditions.
  • Xiluodu plays a crucial role in powering China’s growing economy while also aiding flood control and irrigation.

4. Belo Monte Dam, Brazil (11.23 GW)

  • Back in Brazil, Belo Monte Dam stands as the fourth largest globally, generating 11.23 GW from the Xingu River.
  • Its construction, however, has been marred by controversy due to concerns about environmental degradation and indigenous displacement.
  • Despite the criticism, Belo Monte undeniably bolsters Brazil’s energy security.

5. Guri Dam, Venezuela (10.2 GW)

  • Rounding out our list is Guri Dam, a 10.2 GW powerhouse situated on Venezuela’s Caroni River.
  • Its immense reservoir, known as Lake Guri, is one of the world’s largest artificial lakes.
  • Guri supplies over 70% of Venezuela’s electricity, playing a vital role in the nation’s infrastructure.

Energy Giants: A List of Power plant in Bangladesh

Top 5 Largest Nuclear Power Plants in the World:

1. Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (Japan)

  • Net Capacity: 7,965 MW (largest in the world, though currently not operational)
  • Reactor Type: Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) x 7
  • Construction Start: 1967
  • First Unit Operational: 1985
  • Current Status: Temporarily shut down since 2012 following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Historical Facts:

  • Supplied 7% of Japan’s electricity at its peak.
  • Faced strong opposition from local residents due to safety concerns, especially after the Fukushima incident.
  • Plans for restart are ongoing, but face legal challenges and public disapproval.

2. Hanul Nuclear Power Plant (South Korea)

  • Net Capacity: 7,338 MW (second largest in the world)
  • Reactor Type: Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) x 6
  • Construction Start: 1975
  • First Unit Operational: 1983
  • Current Status: Fully operational with all six units online.
  • Played a crucial role in South Korea’s rapid economic development.
  • Upgraded safety measures following the Fukushima accident.
  • Plans to expand with additional reactors are under consideration.

3. Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant (China)

  • Net Capacity: 6,770 MW (third largest in the world)
  • Reactor Type: Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) x 6
  • Construction Start: 1999 (joint venture between China and Russia)
  • First Unit Operational: 2007
  • Current Status: All six units are operational, with plans for further expansion.

Historical Facts:

  • Symbolizes Sino-Russian cooperation in nuclear technology.
  • Contributed significantly to China’s growing energy demand.
  • Strict safety regulations and international oversight are in place.

4. Bruce Nuclear Generating Station (Canada)

  • Net Capacity: 6,610 MW (largest in North America)
  • Reactor Type: CANDU (Canadian Deuterium Uranium) x 8
  • Construction Start: 1970s
  • First Unit Operational: 1977
  • Current Status: All eight units are operational, undergoing refurbishment and life extension programs.

Historical Facts:

  • Provides over 30% of Ontario’s electricity needs.
  • Utilizes heavy water as a moderator, a unique feature among nuclear power plants.
  • Recognized for its high safety standards and reliability.

5. Taishan Nuclear Power Plant (China)

  • Net Capacity: 6,600 MW (fifth largest in the world)
  • Reactor Type: EPR (Evolutionary Power Reactor) x 2
  • Construction Start: 2009 (joint venture between China and France)
  • First Unit Operational: 2018
  • Current Status: Both units are operational, marking the first successful deployment of EPR technology in the world.

Historical Facts:

  • Represents the latest advancements in nuclear reactor technology.
  • Cooperation between China and France signifies global collaboration in nuclear energy development.
  • Closely monitored for performance and safety due to its cutting-edge technology.

5 Largest Natural Gas-Fired Combined Cycle Power Plants:

1. Jebel Ali Power and Desalination Plant, United Arab Emirates:

  • Installed Capacity: 8,695 MW (enough to power over 7 million homes)
  • Efficiency: 61.5% (among the highest in the world)
  • Fuel Source: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
  • Technology: Mitsubishi MHI 5000GA turbines with triple steam turbine bottoming cycle
  • Unique Feature: Integrated desalination plant producing 475 million gallons of fresh water per day

Historical Facts:

  • Construction began in 2007 and was completed in phases, with full operation achieved in 2013.
  • Holds the Guinness World Record for the largest combined cycle power plant.
  • Plays a crucial role in meeting Dubai’s growing electricity and water demands.
  • Awarded the “Excellence in Engineering Achievement” award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2014.
  • Contributes to diversifying the UAE’s energy mix and reducing reliance on oil.

2. Surgut-2 Power Station, Russia:

  • Installed Capacity: 5,597 MW
  • Efficiency: 56.6%
  • Fuel Source: Natural gas from West Siberian fields
  • Technology: Siemens SGT5-8000H gas turbines with HRSG and steam turbines
  • Unique Feature: Closed-cycle cooling system minimizing water consumption

Historical Facts:

  • Construction started in 1979 and went through several expansions, with the final unit commissioned in 2011.
  • Was the world’s largest gas-fired power plant until Jebel Ali’s completion.
  • Plays a vital role in supplying electricity to Western Siberia and beyond.
  • Modernization efforts have significantly improved efficiency and reduced emissions.
  • Faces challenges due to its remote location and harsh climate.

3. Higashi-Niigata Power Station, Japan:

  • Installed Capacity: 5,149 MW
  • Efficiency: 59.9%
  • Fuel Source: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
  • Technology: GE 9HA.01 gas turbines with triple steam turbine bottoming cycle
  • Unique Feature: Advanced emissions control systems to minimize environmental impact

Historical Facts:

  • Construction began in 2005 and was completed in 2011.
  • Represents Japan’s commitment to clean and efficient energy generation following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
  • Provides baseload power to the Tokyo metropolitan area.
  • Utilizes waste heat from the gas turbines to produce district heating and desalination water.
  • Contributes to Japan’s energy security and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

4. Futtsu Power Station, Japan:

  • Installed Capacity: 5,040 MW
  • Efficiency: 55.3%
  • Fuel Source: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
  • Technology: Mitsubishi MHI 701D gas turbines with double steam turbine bottoming cycle
  • Unique Feature: Utilizes seawater for cooling, reducing freshwater consumption

Historical Facts:

  • Construction began in 1999 and was completed in 2009.
  • Was the world’s largest gas-fired power plant for a short period before Surgut-2’s expansion.
  • Plays a significant role in meeting Tokyo’s energy demands during peak hours.
  • Implements advanced monitoring and control systems for optimal performance.
  • Faces challenges related to potential seismic activity in the region.

5. Dah-Tarn (Tatan) Power Plant, Taiwan:

  • Installed Capacity: 4,984 MW
  • Efficiency: 59.0%
  • Fuel Source: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
  • Technology: Siemens SGT5-2000E gas turbines with double steam turbine bottoming cycle
  • Unique Feature: Utilizes seawater for cooling and flue gas desulfurization to minimize environmental impact

Historical Facts:

  • Construction began in 1999 and was completed in phases, with full operation achieved in 2006.
  • Supplies approximately 10% of Taiwan’s total electricity generation.
  • Plays a crucial role in diversifying Taiwan’s energy mix and

Powering Up the Home: HFO Fried Marine Engine Wartsila 18V50 Deep Dive

5 Largest Heavy Fuel Oil Fried Reciprocating Engine Power Plants:

1. Wärtsilä Power Plant, Pori, Finland:

  • Technical Facts:
    • 5 Wärtsilä 32L46 engines, each generating 18 MW for a total capacity of 90 MW.
    • Engines designed for burning Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) with low emissions technology.
    • High efficiency, exceeding 50% in combined cycle operation.
    • District heating and seawater cooling integration for enhanced energy utilization.
    • Advanced automation and remote monitoring for optimal performance.
  • Historical Facts:
    • Commissioned in 2013, replacing a coal-fired plant, marking a significant shift towards cleaner energy.
    • First power plant in the world to combine Wärtsilä 32L46 engines with district heating and seawater cooling.
    • Showcased the viability of HFO-fueled reciprocating engines for baseload power generation.
    • Awarded “Power Plant of the Year” in 2014 for its innovative design and environmental performance.
    • Contributed to reducing CO2 emissions in Pori by over 200,000 tons annually.

2. Port Sutton Power Station, Guernsey, Channel Islands:

  • Technical Facts:
    • 12 Wärtsilä 18V46 engines, each generating 18 MW for a total capacity of 216 MW.
    • Largest reciprocating engine power plant in Europe.
    • Utilizes dual-fuel technology, capable of switching between HFO and lighter fuels.
    • High fuel flexibility and adaptability to variable demand.
    • Equipped with advanced emissions control systems to meet strict environmental regulations.
  • Historical Facts:
    • Commissioned in stages between 2000 and 2008, replacing older, less efficient plants.
    • Played a crucial role in securing Guernsey’s energy independence and reducing reliance on imported electricity.
    • Successfully transitioned to using HFO as the primary fuel source in 2012, demonstrating cost-effectiveness.
    • Underwent a major upgrade in 2018, incorporating latest engine technology and emissions control systems.
    • Recognized for its contribution to reliable and sustainable electricity generation in Guernsey.

3. Jurong Island Power Plant, Singapore:

  • Technical Facts:
    • 24 MAN B&W 18V50DF engines, each generating 18.5 MW for a total capacity of 444 MW.
    • World’s largest HFO-fired power plant using MAN B&W engines.
    • Highly efficient combined cycle operation with waste heat recovery for steam turbine generation.
    • Equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and seawater scrubbing systems for emission control.
    • Integrated into Singapore’s national grid, providing reliable baseload power.
  • Historical Facts:
    • Commissioned in phases between 2000 and 2004, reflecting Singapore’s growing energy needs.
    • Showcased the scalability and efficiency of HFO-fired reciprocating engines for large-scale power generation.
    • Played a key role in diversifying Singapore’s energy mix and reducing dependence on natural gas imports.
    • Successfully implemented emissions control technologies, meeting stringent environmental standards.
    • Considered a benchmark for clean and efficient HFO-powered power plants.

4. La Pampilla Power Plant, Lima, Peru:

  • Technical Facts:
    • 10 Wärtsilä 32L46 engines, each generating 18 MW for a total capacity of 180 MW.
    • Located at high altitude (1500 meters above sea level), requiring special engine modifications for optimal performance.
    • Utilizes waste heat from engines for seawater desalination, providing additional value.
    • Plays a crucial role in meeting Lima’s growing energy demand and diversifying the city’s energy mix.
    • Equipped with emissions control systems to meet Peruvian environmental regulations.
  • Historical Facts:
    • Commissioned in 2014, marking a significant investment in clean and reliable energy for Lima.
    • The first power plant in Peru to utilize Wärtsilä 32L46 engines and integrate seawater desalination.
    • Contributes to addressing water scarcity issues in Lima and surrounding areas.
    • Successfully adapted to challenging high-altitude conditions, demonstrating engine versatility.
    • Considered a key infrastructure project for sustainable development in Peru.

5. Port Elizabeth Power Station, South Africa:

Technical Facts:

  1. Fuel Flexibility: Equipped with 12 Wärtsilä 32L46 engines, each generating 18 MW for a total capacity of 216 MW. These engines can run on either Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) or lighter fuels like diesel, providing operational flexibility and fuel cost optimization.
  2. Combined Cycle Efficiency: Utilizes a highly efficient combined cycle operation. Waste heat from the engines is recovered to generate steam for a secondary turbine, boosting overall efficiency to over 50%. This translates to lower fuel consumption and reduced environmental impact.
  3. Emission Control: Committed to cleaner energy, the plant employs advanced emission control systems. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology minimizes nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, while seawater scrubbing tackles sulfur oxides (SOx).
  4. Grid Integration: Seamlessly integrated into South Africa’s national grid, the Port Elizabeth Power Station plays a crucial role in meeting baseload electricity demand. Its reliable and flexible generation contributes to grid stability.
  5. Automated Operations: Embraces advanced automation and remote monitoring systems. This ensures optimal performance, minimizes operational costs, and allows for quick responses to changing demand.

Historical Facts:

  1. Addressing Shortages: Commissioned in phases between 2008 and 2010, the Port Elizabeth Power Station emerged as a critical response to South Africa’s electricity shortages at the time. It significantly increased generation capacity in the region.
  2. Emission Challenges: Initially faced challenges with emissions control, particularly regarding NOx. The plant underwent upgrades and implemented stricter emission control measures, demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement.
  3. Diversification Pioneer: Played a key role in diversifying South Africa’s energy mix, reducing dependence on traditional coal-fired power generation. Its reliance on cleaner-burning fuels like HFO paved the way for future renewable energy integration.
  4. Environmental Recognition: The Port Elizabeth Power Station’s successful implementation of advanced emission control technologies earned it recognition for its contribution to cleaner and more sustainable power generation in South Africa.
  5. Reliable Powerhouse: Throughout its operational history, the Port Elizabeth Power Station has consistently delivered reliable electricity to the region, supporting economic growth and development. It remains a vital part of South Africa’s power infrastructure.

FAQ’s Power Plants In The World

Where Is The Biggest Power Plant In The World?

The biggest power plant in the world is the Three Gorges Dam in China, which is a hydropower plant.

What Is The Largest Source Of Electricity In The World?

Coal is the largest source of electricity globally, currently dominating in many countries.

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