Jinping-I Dam

The Jinping-I Dam (simplified Chinese: 锦屏一级水电站; traditional Chinese: 錦屏一級水電站) also known as the Jinping-I Hydropower Station or Jinping 1st Cascade, is a tall arch dam on the Jinping Bend of the Yalong River (Yalong Jiang) in Liangshan, Sichuan, China. Construction on the project began in 2005 and was completed in 2014. Its power station has a 3,600 MW capacity to produce between 16 and 18 TW·h (billion kW·h) annually. Supplying the power station is a reservoir created by the 305-meter-tall arch dam, the tallest in the world. The project’s objective is to supply energy for expanding industrialization and urbanization, improve flood protection, and prevent erosion.

Dam in Yanyuan County and Muli Tibetan Autonomous County, Liangshan Prefecture, Sichuan, China

Jinping-I Dam

Location of Jinping-I Dam in Sichuan

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Jinping-I Dam (China)

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Official name Jinping-I Hydropower Station
Location Yanyuan County and Muli Tibetan Autonomous County, Liangshan Prefecture, Sichuan, China


Purpose Power
Status Operational
Construction began 2005
Opening date 2013
Owner(s) Yalong River Hydropower Development Company, Ltd.
Operator(s) MWREP
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Arch, double-curvature
Impounds Yalong River
Height 305 m (1,001 ft)
Length 568.6 m (1,865 ft)
Spillway type Crest, bottom outlets, flood tunnel
Spillway capacity Crest: 2,993 m3/s (105,700 cu ft/s)
Bottom outlets: 5,465 m3/s (193,000 cu ft/s)
Tunnel: 3,651 m3/s (128,900 cu ft/s)
Creates Jinping-I Reservoir
Total capacity 7,760,000,000 m3 (6,290,000 acre⋅ft)
Active capacity 4,910,000,000 m3 (3,980,000 acre⋅ft)
Catchment area 102,560 km2 (39,600 sq mi)
Surface area 82.55 km2 (31.87 sq mi)
Power Station
Commission date 2013–2014
Turbines 6 × 600 MWFrancis-type
Installed capacity 3,600 MW[1]
Annual generation 16–18 TWh

. . . Jinping-I Dam . . .

Harnessing hydropower on the Jinping bend of the Yalong River has been in planning for decades. The length of bend around the Jinping Mountains is 150 km but the downstream (northbound) part of the river on the opposite side is only separated by 16 km. Between that distance, there is an elevation drop of 310 m, creating an excellent situation for hydroelectricity production. Two projects were planned for the bend, the Jinping I and Jinping II with a combined capacity of 8,400 MW. Planning for the projects began in the 1960s under the former Sichuan and Shanghai design institutes along with the Ministry of Water Resources and Electric Power. They produced the “Reinvestigation Report on The Yalong River bend (Jinping)”. In July 1965, the Jinping Hydropower Engineering Headquarters was set up and designs for the Jinping 1 and Jinping 2 would progress with the East China Investigation and Design Institute.[2]

Construction began on 12 November 2005. The dam began to impound its reservoir on 8 October 2012. First power was generated in 2013 with the remainder of the work to be completed by 2015.[3] The rapid impounding has been linked to reservoir-induced seismicity by a Chinese geologist. Out of hundreds of small earthquakes during impoundment, three between 3.9MW and 4.58MW were recorded on 22 November 2013 on a nearby fault line.[4]

The dam began to impound its reservoir on 8 October 2012 and the first two of six 600 MW generators became operational on 30 August 2013.[5] The sixth and final generator was commissioned on 15 July 2014.[6] The final generator for Jinping-II downstream was commissioned in November 2014.[7]

. . . Jinping-I Dam . . .

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. . . Jinping-I Dam . . .