Highest dam
Jinping-I Dam
305 metre(s)
China (Sichuan)

The highest dam in the world is the Jinping-I Dam in Sichuan, China. Sitting across the Yalong River, the dam uses a double curvature thin arch, and reaches 305 m (1,000 ft) high – 5 m (16 ft 4.8 in) taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The dam wall has a crest length of 568.5 m (1,865 ft). Construction of the dam began on 12 November 2005, and the long process of filling the dam with water, known as impoundment, began on 8 October 2008, and when complete will create a reservoir area of 82.55 km² (888,557,250 ft²). The hydroelectric power plant uses six Francis-type turbines of 600 MW each, creating a total of 3,600 MW. Designed by CHIDI, the dam is owned by the Ertan Hydropower Development Company.

China is constructing 21 hydropower stations along the Yalong River (a tributary of the Yangtze River), with a capacity of 30GW and generating 150 TWh each year. This makes Yalong River the third largest hydropower base in China, after the Yangtze River and the Jinsha River.

The long process of filling the Jinping-I Dam with water (known as “impoundment”) began on 8 October 2012, and has been been blamed by some for contributing to 300 minor earthquakes in the Sichuan province, through a process known as “reservoir-induced seismicity” (RIS). Several studies have indicated that a magnitude-8 earthquake, and which killed 90,000 people in the Sichuan province in 2008, may have been triggered by the Zipingpu Dam and its reservoir completed several years earlier. The first hydropower station in China was built in 1912 in Shilongba, Yunnan Province with an installed capacity of 500 kW.