Vidraru Dam is a dam in Romania. It was built in 1965 on the Argeş River.
It is an arch dam built on a foundation of rock, and it was built to produce hydroelectricity. Its construction created a reservoir, Lake Vidraru. The dam’s height is 166 meters, the arch length 305 meters, water accumulation volume 465 million cubic meters, the reservoir has a total shoreline (perimeter) length of 28km.
Situated between Frunţii Mountains and Ghiţu mountains, the lake collects the Capra, Buda and some other smaller rivers (Râul Doamnei, Cernatu and Vâlsan, Topolog, Valea lui Stan and Limpedea), with a total flow of about 5.5 million l /s. The total surface of the lake is 3,930,000 sq m, 10.3 km in length, with a maximum width of 2.2 km in the Valea Lupului zone – Călugăriţa. Normal level or water retention is 830.00 meters above the sea level (mdM).
The dam’s construction took 5 and a half years. It required 42km of subterranean tunnels, excavation of 1,768,000 cubic meters of hard rocks, out of which approximatively 1 million had to be extracted from underground, 930,000 cubic meters of concrete, out of which 400,000 cubic meters were underground and required the installation of 6,300 tons of electro-mechanical equipment.
When completed, it ranked 5th in Europe, and 9th in the world. In an average hydrological year it can generate approximately of 400 GWh/year.
The Vidraru Hydro Power Plant has an installed capacity of 220 MW.
Top Gear series 14 episode 1:
The Vidraru Dam made an appearance in the Series 14, Episode 1 of the BBC Motoring programme Top Gear. The three presenters had slept in their cars overnight while on their way to find the world’s best driving road in Romania and woke up in the shadow of the Vidraru Dam.