The Srisailam Dam is constructed across the Krishna River on the border of Mahabubnagar District, Telangana and Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh near Srisailam temple town and is the 2nd largest capacity working hydroelectric station in the country.
The dam was constructed in a deep gorge in the Nallamala Hills in between Mahabubnagar and Kurnool districts, 980 ft above sea level. It is 1,680 ft long, 476 ft maximum height and has 12 radial crest gates. It has a reservoir of 616 square kilometres. Project has an estimated live capacity to hold 179 Tmc at its full reservoir level of 885 feet MSL. The left bank underground power station houses 6 × 150 megawatts reversible turbines for pumped-storage operation and the right bank semi under ground power station houses 7 × 110 megawatts generators.
Tail pond dam /weir located 14 km downstream of Srisailam dam is under advanced stage of construction to hold the water released by the hydro turbines and later pump back in to the Srisailam reservoir by operating the turbines in pump mode. The weir portion got breached in November 2015 unable to withstand the normal water release from the hydro power stations.
The Srisailam project began in 1960, initially as a power project. After several delays, the main dam was finally completed twenty years later in 1980 July 26. In the meantime the project was converted into a multipurpose facility with a generating capacity of 770 megawatts by its second stage which was completed in 1987. The dam is to provide water for an estimated 2,000 square kilometres. Under the right bank branch canal 790 square kilometres in Kurnool and Kadapa districts will have assured irrigation. From the initial modest estimate of ₹38 crores for a power project the total cost of the multipurpose project was estimated to cross₹1,000 crores in its enlarged form. The dam has alone cost ₹400 crores together with the installation of four generating sets of 110 MW each. The right bank branch canal is estimated to cost ₹449 crores and the initial investment of ₹1400 crores has been provided by the World Bank. On 2 October 2009, Srisailam dam experienced a record inflow which threatened the dam.
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