|Official name||Usina Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek|
|Location||Berilo/Grão Mogol districts|
|Construction cost||R$1 billion (~US$480 million)|
|Dam and spillways|
|Type of dam||Embankment, rock-fill|
|Length||500 m (1,640 ft)|
|Height||208 m (682 ft)|
|Elevation at crest||515.5 m (1,691 ft)|
|Dam volume||10,300,000 m3 (13,471,891 cu yd)|
|Spillway capacity||6,000 m3/s (211,888 cu ft/s)|
|Surface area||137 km2 (53 sq mi)|
|Normal elevation||510 m (1,673 ft)|
|Commission date||20 July 2006|
|Turbines||3 x 120 MW Francis-type|
|Installed capacity||360 MW
390 MW (max. planned)
Irapé Dam, the tallest dam in Brazil, is an embankment dam on the Jequitinhonha River in the state of Minas Gerais. It is on the border of Berilo and Grão Mogol districts, about 26 km (16 mi) west of Virgem da Lapa. The dam was constructed between 2002 and 2006 for the purpose of hydroelectric power generation.
In 1963, the Jequitinhonha River was studied for its hydroelectric potential and the studies were reviewed in 1984. Brazilian power company CEMIG won the bid to build the Irapé Dam in 1998. Construction on the dam began in September 2002 and in September of that year, the power plant was officially renamed Juscelino Kubitschek Power Plant, after the former President of Brazil. The river diversion was complete by April 2003 with two 14 m (46 ft) diameter tunnels; one 1,227 m (4,026 ft) in length and the other 1,067 m (3,501 ft). The dam's reservoir began to fill in December 2005 and the first of the power plant's generators was commissioned on 20 July 2006. The second generator was commissioned in August and the third in October 2006. At the time of its completion it was the tallest dam in Brazil.
The dam is a rock-fill-type with a height of 208 m (682 ft) and length of 500 m (1,640 ft). It is built within a steep canyon just upstream of a bend in the river. Total structural volume amounts to about 10,300,000 m3 (13,471,891 cu yd). The reservoir created by the dam has a surface area of 137 km2 (53 sq mi). Controlling overflow is three 634 m (2,080 ft) long spillway tunnels. Each diverts water from the reservoir to the eastern side of a bend in the river. Two of the tunnels are located high above the valley while one is at an intermediate height. Each tunnel has a maximum discharge capacity of 2,000 m3/s (70,629 cu ft/s), making the total maximum discharge capacity of the spillway 6,000 m3/s (211,888 cu ft/s). The dam's power plant is located at its base and houses three 120 MW Francis turbine-generators for an installed capacity of 360 MW. The generators are rated to operate at 130 MW though, providing a maximum capacity of 390 MW.
- "Usina Irape" (in Portuguese). Soujequi. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Irape". CEMIG. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- Martins Calcina, Alex; Jânder de Faria Leitão, Reginaldo Araujo Machado (2009). "Irape Dam – Stress and Strain: Numerical Previsions and Measurement Results". The 1st International Symposium on Rockfill Dams.
- "Hydroelectric Plants in Brazil - Minas Gerais". IndustCards. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Irape Dam". Chinese National Committee on Large Dams. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2012.