Tuesday, October 26, 2010

China's Three Gorges Dam reaches maximum capacity

The Associated Press announced today that China's Three Gorges Dam reached maximum capacity.  See full story here.

BEIJING – Water rose to the maximum level at China's Three Gorges Dam on Tuesday, driving electricity output to full capacity at the world's largest hydropower plant for the first time since it began operating two years ago, its operator said.

That marks the culmination of the mammoth $23 billion project on the upper reaches of China's longest river, the Yangtze, touted by the government as the best way to end centuries of floods along the river basin and to provide energy to fuel the country's economic boom.

But the project has had major environmental impacts and its construction displaced more than 1.4 million people. Some geologists also warn that raising the water level of the vast reservoir carries a heightened risk of landslides, earthquakes and prolonged damage to the river's ecology.

Construction of the 410-mile (660-kilometer) -long reservoir began in 1993 and it began storing water in 2003, but the dam was only finished in 2006.
Power generation is expected to reach 84.7 billion kilowatt hours.


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