More solar and wind power projects for China’s energy corridor

The completion of the Baihetan hydropower station marks the completion of the world’s largest clean energy corridor. — Reuters

BEIJING: China plans to diversify the world’s largest clean energy corridor with more solar and wind power projects based on existing hydropower stations, officials say.

The move is expected to further facilitate the country’s carbon neutrality goals as it goes full throttle into its green energy transition.

The National Energy Administration (NEA) plans to build the ability to produce more than 60 million kilowatts (kW) of wind power, photovoltaic power and other new energy sources along the Jinsha River, which is the name for the upper section of the Yangtze River.This would achieve multi-energy complementarity, which is a mix of energy sources that complement each other with comprehensive and integrated development.

It would also take advantage of the regulation capacity of the cascade hydropower plants, which can store water to help avoid floods, using the excess water to generate power. Such cascade plants are built one after another along a waterway, which entails additional requirements for optimum operation.The NEA also vows to further ensure the steady operation of cascade hydropower plants along the Jinsha River to facilitate China’s shift in energy structure and the coordinated development of the regional economy in the country.

The powerful, 16-gigawatt Baihetan hydropower plant, which was put into operation and started generating green electricity in December, will serve as a major power source for China’s west-to-east power transmission.

Located downstream of the Jinsha River on the border of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, it has the world’s largest installed capacity for a single generating unit and the world’s second-largest in terms of overall installed capacity, according to its operator, China Three Gorges Corp.

The Baihetan station also signifies a major breakthrough for China’s high-end equipment manufacturing, given that it is equipped with 16 domestically developed hydro-generating units, each with a capacity of one million kW, said Lei Mingshan, chairman of the company.

“The full operation of Baihetan is of great significance to China’s shift in energy structure, the construction of the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the coordinated development of the regional economy in the country,” he said.

The completion of the Baihetan hydropower station marks the completion of the world’s largest clean energy corridor, including the Baihetan station and the Wudongde, Xiluodu, Xiangjiaba, Three Gorges, and Gezhouba cascade hydropower stations over trunk streams of the Yangtze River.

The six hydropower stations are now equipped with 110 generating units and have a total installed capacity of nearly 71.70 million kW, according to the China Three Gorges Corp.The six cascade hydropower stations are expected to generate 300 billion kWh annually, which will relieve power shortages in Central and East China, and in Sichuan, Yunnan and Guangdong provinces.

It will also support safe and stable operation of the west-to-east power transmission project and power grid.

The construction of the Baihetan-Zhejiang 800-kilovolt ultra-high-voltage direct current power transmission project was also completed in December, which will help send the clean electricity generated in the southwestern province of Sichuan to eastern Zhejiang province through a transmission line stretching 2,121km, according to the State Grid Corp of China. — China Daily/ANN

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