Ecowanderer goes to Europe’s Biggest Dam and Artificial Lake

7 03 2010

Ecowanderer recently had the opportunity to visit Europe’s Biggest Dam: The Alqueva Dam located in Alentejo, Portugal, and travel only a portion of the greatest artificial lake made possible by the dam: The Great Lake (also known as Albufeira of Alqueva)

The project began as late as 1975, with the approval of the Portuguese Ministry Council. However, the construction was interrupted in 1978 and only got up back on its feet in 1995. On 2002, the gates were opened and the lake started to be filled (8th March). In 2004, the Hydroelectric Station was formally opened.

The project is estimated to have cost 1800 million euros, the cost of maintaining the irrigation network, the logging of 1.2 million trees and the deforestation approximating 19.4 million euros until 2003.

Current lake landscape

The lake can reach, in its full capacity, 250km2, and it has brought many benefits for the population. Tourist attractions and renting of boats have grown in the region, as well as the practice of bass fishing.

Lake extension

Furthermore, the dam can produce up to 250MW of electric energy, which is used to supply the Alentejo Region.

Hydroelectric Station

Please check out the youtube video below for more pictures and video footage of the Alqueva dam.

Since the Alqueva Dam is close to a town known as Amareleja, Ecowanderer also took the time to visit a special project which is located there: World’s 8th largest solar platform. So make sure you don’t miss our next post!

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