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TOPIC: Three Gorges Dam


L

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The first China-made 700,000-kw turbine generator began operating at the Three Gorges Dam on Tuesday.
The No. 26 turbine generator, made by Harbin Electric Machinery Company Ltd, began producing its first kilowatt of electricity at around 11 a.m. after passing a 72-hour trial period. The electricity will be transmitted to the state power grid to fuel the energy-strained areas of eastern China.
The 180-billion-yuan Three Gorges project, which was launched in 1993, will have 32 generators with a combined generating capacity of 22.4 million kilowatts.

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Some call it the eighth wonder of world. Others say it's the next Great Wall of China. Upon completion in 2009, the Three Gorges Dam along Chinas Yangtze River will be the world's largest hydroelectric power generator and one of the few man-made structures so enormous that it's actually visible to the naked eye from space. NASA's Landsat satellites have provided detailed, vivid views of the dam since construction began in 1994.

Area in 1987 before the dam was builtArea in 2000, during the building of the dam.

Image left, above: This image shows the region in 1987, prior to the start of the project.
Image right, above:
By 2000, construction along each riverbank was underway, but sediment-filled water still flowed through a narrow channel near the river's south bank.

Credit: NASA/USGS
+ View movie of the dam's construction

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L

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The Three Gorges Dam that spans the Yangtze River at Sandouping, Yichang, Hubei province, China, has been completed.
Construction of the largest hydroelectric dam in the world began in 1993. Structural construction was finished on May 20, 2006, nine months ahead of schedule.
Eventually, when all 26 generators are operational (projected for 2009 - with a combined generating capacity of 18.2 million kW) they will be able to generate 84.7 billion kWh electricity annually (about one-ninth of the nation's electricity consumption).

3gorges2006135
Latitude 30.738914 Longitude 111.272636
This image shows the dam nearing completion on May 15 2006. The Yangtze River flows from upper left toward upper right in the images.

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