Hydroelectric Power Plants in India - First, Largest, List of Hydro Power Plant in India

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : November 10th, 2022

Hydroelectric Power Plants in India are one of the most economical energy sources that result in the minimum waste of energy. The development of the Hydroelectric Power Plants in India started in 1897, and at present, India is the fifth largest producer of hydroelectricity, with a capacity of 47,057 MW.

The first hydroelectric power plant in India was commissioned in 1897 in Darjeeling, followed by the second in Karnataka in 1902. Below you will learn the important facts about the Hydroelectric Power Plants in India, along with the list of the important Hydroelectric Power Plants in India.

Table of Content

Hydroelectric Power Plants in India

There are 197 Hydro Power Plant in India. It is estimated that India has a hydroelectric potential of approximately 148,700MW, out of which it has developed 42,783 MW of capacity, and a total of 13,616MW is under construction.

Hydroelectric Power Plants in India PDF

The largest hydroelectric power plant in India is the Koyna Hydroelectric Project, located near Patan in the Satara district of Maharashtra. It has a capacity of 1,960MW. The Koyna Project has four dams. Among these dams, the largest dam is constructed across the Koyna River. India is the third largest consumer and producer of energy in the world. It generates energy from coal, water, wind, and solar energy.

According to recent data, out of 375.32GW of installed power capacity, 45.8GW belongs to hydroelectric power in India. However, in February 2021, due to Uttarakhand Floods, NTPC Ltd 520 MW Tapovan Vishnugad hydropower project site was damaged, resulting in a change in stats.

First Hydroelectric Power Plant in India

The first hydro power plant in India is Sidrapong hydroelectric power station, located 12 kilometers from Darjeeling town at the foothills of the Arya Tea Estate. The Sidrapong hydroelectric power station, or Sidrapong hydel power station, was commissioned on 10 November 1897. The initial capacity of the power station was 2×65 kW. However, in 1916, this capacity was increased to a total capacity of 1000 kW.

In 1931, the old machinery of the project was replaced for more-efficient triple-phase transmission. In 1978, the operation was taken over by WBSEB, i.e., West Bengal State Electricity Board. After two years, the power station was tremendously affected by the landslide, but it was revived in 1997. The First Hydro Power Plant in India has now got the status of Cultural Heritage by the central government.

Largest Hydroelectric Power Plant in India

The biggest Hydro Power Plant in India is the Konya Hydroelectric project, situated in the Satara district of Maharastra. Maharastra State Electricity Board is responsible for running the project. The Konya Hydroelectric project is a complex of four dams, including one of the largest dams on the Koyna River, i.e., the Konya Dam, situated near the Koyananagar village. The total capacity of India's largest hydroelectric power plant is 1960 MW.

The project has four stages, and each stage has one undergrown powerhouse built deep inside the Western Ghats. The Western Ghats have very high mountain ranges that result in enormous hydraulic heads. Stage I of the project was commissioned in May 1962, while the last one was commissioned in 1981.

List of Hydro Power Plants in India

The state-wise list of Hydro Power Plants in India is as under-

Hydro Electric Power Plant in India


Hydro Projects in India - States



Jammu and Kashmir



Himachal Pradesh



Himachal Pradesh



Himachal Pradesh

Pandoh Dam


Himachal Pradesh

Nathpa Jhakri Hydro Electric Power Plant


Himachal Pradesh

Baspa-II Hydro Electric Power plant


Himachal Pradesh

Tehri Hydro Electric Power plant



Teesta Hydro Electric Power plant



Rangit Hydroelectric Power plant



Hirakud Hydro Electric Power plant



Balimela Hydro Electric Power plant



Loktak Hydro Electric Power plant



Koyna Hydroelectric Power plant


Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh

Rihand Hydroelectric Power plant


Madhya Pradesh

Indira Sagar Hydro Electric Power plant


Madhya Pradesh

Bansagar Hydroelectric Power plant



Idukki Hydro Electric Power plant



Shivanasamudra Hydroelectric Power plant



Sharavathi Hydroelectric Power plant



Kalinadi Hydro Electric Power plant



Subarnarekha Hydroelectric Power plant


Jammu and Kashmir

Uri Hydro Electric Power plant


Jammu and Kashmir

Salal Hydro Electric Power plant


Himachal Pradesh

Nathpa Jhakri Hydroelectric Power plant


Himachal Pradesh

Dehar Hydroelectric Power plant


Himachal Pradesh

Bhakra Nangal Hydroelectric Power plant


Himachal Pradesh

Baira-Siul Hydroelectric Power plant



Machkund Hydro Electric Power plant


Andhra Pradesh, Orissa

Srisailam Hydro Electric Power plant


Andhra Pradesh

Nagarjunasagar Hydro Electric Power plant


Andhra Pradesh


Important Facts About Hydroelectric Power Plants in India

The important facts about Hydroelectric power plants in India are as follows-

  • First hydroelectric power station- Sidrapong hydroelectric power station.
  • Highest hydroelectric power project in the country- Tehri Hydro Electric Power Plant.
  • Nathpa Jhakri Hydroelectric Power Plant- Srisailam Hydro Power Plant
  • Biggest underground hydroelectric power project in India- Nathpa Jhakri Hydroelectric Power Plant.
  • Largest completed hydroelectric power plant in India- Koyna Hydroelectric Project.
  • World's second-largest concrete dam- Sardar Sarovar Dam.

Classification of Hydropower Plant in India

Based on the size, the Hydropower Plants in India are classified into these two categories-

  • Large Hydropower Plants- Ministry of Power- India became the world's fifth-largest country for potential hydropower capacity in 2019. India's estimated hydroelectric power potential is 1,45,320 MW, most of which is contributed by the large hydropower plants. More than 100 large hydropower plants in India contribute above 25 MW. However, most of these large hydropower projects have languished in India because of environmental litigations, financial stress, contractual conflicts, local disturbances and unwilling purchases.
  • Small Hydropower Plants- MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy)- The hydropower with a potential capacity of less than 25 MW are considered small hydropower plants. There are many small hydropower plants in India constructed in various hilly areas of the country. The Small hydropower projects are further divided into three types- Small hydro (2MW to 25 MW), Mini (101 kW to 2MW), and Micro (up to 100 kW).

👉 Hydroelectric Power Plants in India [UPSC Notes]: Download PDF Here

Important Notes for UPSC
Bharat Ratna Award ListGupta Empire
Committees of Constituent AssemblyImportant Mountain Passes in India
Right Against ExploitationKhelo India Programme


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FAQs on Hydroelectric Power Plants in India

  • The first hydroelectric power plant in India was the Sidrapong Hydropower facility. It was commissioned in Sidrapong, Darjeeling, in 1897. This project can generate 130 kW of power.

  • There are 197 hydroelectric power plants in India. India’s hydroelectric potential is estimated at approximately 148,700MW, out of which it has developed 42,783 MW of Capacity.

  • The largest hydroelectric power station in India is located in the Satara district of Maharashtra, and it has four dams constructed across the Koyna river, including the largest dam, i.e., Koyna dam.

  • The largest Hydroelectric Power Plant in India is the Koyna Hydroelectric Project, located near Patna, near the Koyna river, hence the name Koyna hydroelectric power. It is a complex project that includes four dams and is known to generate electricity with a capacity of 1960 MW.

  • The biggest hydropower plant in terms of capacity is the Tehri hydropower complex, with a total of 2400MW. It is located at the confluence of the Bhilangana rivers and Bhilangana near Tehri city.

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