1. Three Gorges Dam, China (22.5 GW)


Three Gorges Dam spans the longest river on the biggest continent in the world, and it is the most powerful single power generation asset of any kind in the world. Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat-Sen first envisioned building a dam over the Yangtze River in 1919. President of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek, drew up initial plans in 1932. In the post WWII era, Chinese engineers traveled to the U.S. for training. After the communist revolution, Mao Zedong became enamored with the project, even writing a poem titled "Swimming" about a massive dam crossing the Yangtze. Construction on the dam, however, did not begin until 1994. It finally opened in 2012 after many delays. The concrete and steel facility used enough steel to build 63 Eiffel Towers and required the displacement of 1.3 million people. Currently, there are no power stations under construction that could rival Three Gorges, but the proposed Grand Inga Dam in Congo calls for a 39 GW facility.

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