List of Hydroelectric Power Plant in India – Largest, First, Biggest Hydroelectric Power Plants

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Hydroelectric Power Plant in India: Koyna Hydroelectric Project is considered to be the largest hydroelectric power plant in India. Hydroelectric Power Plants are systems useful for generating electricity from flowing water. At hydropower plants, water rushes through a pipe, then gets forced against and spins blades in a turbine to rotate a generator for producing electricity. 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 is Sidrapong hydroelectric power station commissioned in 1897 in Darjeeling, followed by the second in Karnataka in 1902. Hydroelectric Power plants are one of the most economical energy sources that result in the minimum waste of energy. Read this article to know about the list of hydropower plants in India.

Hydroelectric Power Plant in India

There are 197 Hydroelectric Power plants 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. India is the third largest consumer and producer of energy in the world. It generates energy from coal, water, wind, and solar energy.

Hydroelectric Power Plant in India PDF

India’s largest hydroelectric power plant 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.

Classification of Hydroelectric Power Plants in India

In Asia, India is the third largest electric power-producing country through Hydro-projects. Small hydropower projects in India are those holding a capacity of 25 MW or less. Hydro power plants are categorized differently in distinct countries depending on the size of the power potential.

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 the large hydropower plants contribute.

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): Hydropower with a potential capacity of less than 25 MW are considered small hydropower plants. Many small hydropower plants in India are 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 Plant in India Map

To explore different hydropower plants and their precise location, you must explore them on the given Hydroelectric Power Plant in India Map for a better interpretation and learning.

List of Hydroelectric Power Plant in India – Largest, First, Biggest Hydroelectric Power Plants

List of Hydro Power Plants in India

There are 197 Hydro Electric Power Plants in India. The state-wise list of Hydro Power Plants in India and the rivers they are constructed in are shown in the table provided below:

Hydroelectric Power Plant in India River States
Dulhasti Chenab Jammu and Kashmir
Pong Beas Himachal Pradesh
Chamera-II Ravi Himachal Pradesh
Chamera-I Ravi Himachal Pradesh
Pandoh Dam Beas Himachal Pradesh
Nathpa Jhakri Hydro Electric Power Plant Satluj Himachal Pradesh
Baspa-II Hydro Electric Power plant Baspa Himachal Pradesh
Tehri Hydro Electric Power plant Bhagirathi Uttarakhand
Teesta Hydro Electric Power plant Teesta Sikkim
Rangit Hydroelectric Power plant Rangit Sikkim
Hirakud Hydro Electric Power plant Mahanadi Odisha
Balimela Hydro Electric Power plant Sileru Odisha
Loktak Hydro Electric Power plant Leimatak Manipur
Koyna Hydroelectric Power plant Koyna Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh
Rihand Hydroelectric Power plant Rihand Madhya Pradesh
Indira Sagar Hydro Electric Power plant Narmada Madhya Pradesh
Bansagar Hydroelectric Power plant Sone Kerala
Idukki Hydro Electric Power plant Periyar Karnataka
Shivanasamudra Hydroelectric Power plant Kaveri Karnataka
Sharavathi Hydroelectric Power plant Sharavathi Karnataka
Kalinadi Hydro Electric Power plant Kalinadi Jharkhand
Subarnarekha Hydroelectric Power plant Subarnarekha Jammu and Kashmir
Uri Hydro Electric Power plant Jhelum Jammu and Kashmir
Salal Hydro Electric Power plant Chenab Himachal Pradesh
Nathpa Jhakri Hydroelectric Power plant Beas Himachal Pradesh
Dehar Hydroelectric Power plant Sutlej Himachal Pradesh
Bhakra Nangal Hydroelectric Power plant Baira Himachal Pradesh
Baira-Siul Hydroelectric Power plant Narmada Gujarat
Machkund Hydro Electric Power plant Machkund Andhra Pradesh, Orissa
Srisailam Hydro Electric Power plant Krishna Andhra Pradesh
Nagarjunasagar Hydro Electric Power plant Krishna Andhra Pradesh

Hydroelectric Power Plant in India: Advantages and Disadvantages

The list of hydro power plants in India has both advantages and disadvantages. Though their functional requirements are favorable and they optimally utilize the capacity, they are considered to be a bit expensive when it comes to overall capital investment.

Hydro Electric Power Plant in India
Advantages Disadvantages
Hydropower plants use water to produce electricity, which is a renewable energy resource Multiple hydroelectric projects in India are inactive due to legal conflicts over the regional turmoil, environment, economic pressure, and unconcerned consumers
The process involves zero long-term costs as water is a renewable energy resource without any consumable elements Electricity production using hydropower needs a substantial money investment in capital
It is less expensive as compared to power produced by gas-fired and coal plants They cause land submergence and result in the extinction of flora and fauna
It is more reliable and eradicates financial losses as it does not utilize fossil fuels Diversion of forest land is periodically required since these projects are found in hilly regions, where forest cover is more
Hydropower stations are the best solution for fulfilling extreme loads in grids as they possess the ability to start and close immediately Modern hydropower projects have experienced delays because of tricky planning strategies, long-term finance, lack of proper infrastructures, etc.

First Hydroelectric Power Plant in India

The first hydropower 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 Hydroelectric 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 Koyna Hydroelectric project, situated in the Satara district of Maharashtra. The 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 Koyna Dam, situated near the Koynanagar village. The total capacity of India’s largest hydroelectric power plant is 1960 MW.

The project has four stages, and each stage has one underground powerhouse built deep inside the Western Ghats. The Western Ghats have very high mountain ranges that result in enormous hydraulic heads. This is one important difference between western and eastern ghats. Stage I of this largest hydroelectric power plant in India was commissioned in May 1962, while the last one was commissioned in 1981.

Facts About Hydroelectric Power Plants in India

It is observed that the Brahmaputra has the highest potential in terms of generating Hydroelectricity followed by the Indus, and Ganga. East-flowing rivers have a greater potential to generate electricity than west-flowing river basins.

The public sector is envisioned to rise with the development of hydroelectric energy in the Himalayan ranges and in the northeast of the country. Let us see a few important facts about Hydroelectric power plants in India.

  • 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: Nathpa Jhakri Hydroelectric Power Plant
  • Largest completed hydroelectric power plant in India: Koyna Hydroelectric Project
  • World’s second-largest concrete dam: Sardar Sarovar Dam

Hydroelectric Power Plant in India UPSC

Hydroelectric Power Plant in India is an essential topic included under the General Studies Syllabus and questions from this section are asked both in the Prelims and Mains exam. It is advised that candidates read about the list of Hydroelectric Power plants in India, important facts about them, and the classification of these power plants based on their size and power capacity.

Learning particulars about the first and largest hydroelectric power plant in India has essentially been fruitful for many students. Aspirants must practice Hydroelectric Power Plant in India UPSC questions well and download all the appropriate UPSC Free Materials to excel in the exam.

Hydroelectric Power Plant in India MCQs

Question: Which of the following is not a Hydroelectric Power Plant in India? -Nagarjunasagar Hydro Electric Power Plant, Matanogawa Pumped Storage Plant, Subarnarekha Hydroelectric Power Plant, Loktak Hydro Electric Power Plant
Answer: Matanogawa Pumped Storage Plant

Question: Which of the following is India’s First Hydro Power Plant? – Rihand Hydroelectric Power Plant, Chamera III Hydroelectric Plant, Baspa-II Hydro Electric Power Plant, Shivanasamudra Hydroelectric Power Plant
Answer: Shivanasamudra Hydroelectric Power Plant

UPSC Mains 2013 Question: What do you understand about the Run-of-river hydroelectricity project? How is it different from any other hydroelectricity project?

UPSC Mains 2016 Question: Present an account of the Indus Water Treaty and examine its ecological, economic, and political implications in the context of changing bilateral relations.

UPSC Mains 2018 Question: Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy is the sine qua non to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.Comment on the progress made in India in this regard.

UPSC Notes
Environmental Movements in India Press Information Bureau UPSC Notes
Dandi March India China Relations UPSC Notes
Salt Satyagraha Marginal Standing Facility Rate
Article 12 Indian Constitution Chief of Defence Staff of India
Surat Split Competition Commission of India
Article 370 Narasimham Committee
Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium