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Itaipu Dam: Largest Operating Hydroelectric Facility

The Itaipu Dam is the largest operating hydroelectric facility, on the Paraná River located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay, in terms of annual generating capacity. It was generating 94.7 TWh in 2008 and 91.6 TWh in 2009. In 2008 the plant generated a record 94.68 billion kWh, supplying 90% of the electricity consumed by Paraguay and 19% of that consumed by Brazil. The Work of this mega project began in February 1971.
Important features regarding this Dam are:

Dam Structure from Inside of Itaipu Dam1) Itaipu Dam is a five miles wide dam which spans the Parana River at the Brazil/Paraguay border.


2) 50 million tons of earth and rock were removed in the construction process for digging a 1.3-mile bypass.
3) The main dam, as high as a 65-story building, is composed of hollow concrete segments, while the flanking wings are earth and rock fill.


4) Powerhouse of this dam is half a mile long, half underwater and containing 18 hydroelectric generators each 53 ft. across. Some 160 tons of water per second pour onto each turbine, generating 12,600 mega watts –enough to power most of California.




5) Itaipu currently supplies 28 percent of all the electric energy in Brazil’s south, southeast and central-west regions, and 72 percent of Paraguay’s total energy consumption.




6) The steel used in this is enough to make 300 Eiffel tower.
7) The total length of the dam is 7235 m. The crest elevation is 225 m. The spillway has a length of 483 m.
The Entire Itaipu Dam
8) The maximum flow of Itaipu's fourteen segmented spillways is 62.2 thousand cubic metres per second, into three skislope formed canals.
Itaipu Dam: 483 m Long Spillways
9) If Brazil were to use Thermal Power Generation to produce the electric power of Itaipu, 434,000 barrels (69,000 m3) of petroleum would have to be burned every day.

10) The dam is 196 metres high.

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