The Three Gorges Dam is the largest electric power plant in the world. It sits on the Yangtze River in Sandouping, Hubei, China. The Three Gorges Dam has a total generating capacity of more than 18,000 megawatts, supplying power to millions of households, businesses, schools, and hospitals.

Photograph by William Tadlock, MyShot

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  • On November 8, 1997, engineers diverted the Yangtze River to make way for the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei Province, China. The dam is the world’s largest power plant, capable of generating 98 million megawatt-hours of electricity every year. Building the dam took 16 years and cost $30 billion.
    The Three Gorges Dam is one of the most controversial engineering projects in history. While the Chinese government stresses a need for power generated by the dam, its construction displaced more than a million people. The dam flooded archaeological sites and caused the probable extinction of the Yangtze River dolphin.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    archaeological site Noun

    place where evidence of the past is being studied by scientists.

    capable Adjective

    having the ability to do something.

    controversial Noun

    questionable or leading to argument.

    dam Noun

    structure built across a river or other waterway to control the flow of water.

    electricity Noun

    set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge.

    extinction Noun

    process of complete disappearance of a species from Earth.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    power plant Noun

    industrial facility for the generation of electric energy.