There are 62,500 operating power plants around the world, generating a capacity of over 6,000 gigawatts just in 2015. The nine largest power plants by capacity all have one thing in common: they are all hydroelectric facilities.
China is home to four of the world’s largest power plants and all of them began operation within the last 13 years. The world’s largest dam, Three Gorges, is located on the Yangtze River in China and has a capacity of 22.5 GW.
South America is home to three of the world’s largest power plants. Brazil’s Itaipu Dam, located on the Parana River that forms the border between Brazil and Paraguay, has a capacity of 14 GW.
The Grand Coulee Dam is the seventh-largest power plant in the world and the largest dam in the United States. It provides power to eleven states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona), and also Canada.
The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Japan is the largest nuclear plant in the world. It’s important to note, however, that Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is among the many nuclear plants in Japan that were shut down in the aftermath of the accident at Fukushima in 2011 and has yet to file for a restart application.