10,000 MW Hydro-Solar Project Starts In China’s Sichuan Province

10,000 MW Hydro-Solar Project Starts In China’s Sichuan Province

China saw the world’s largest Hydro+solar power project, the 10,000 MW (1 million-kilowatt hydro-solar power plant) Kela Photovoltaic Power Station Phase 1 connected to the state grid in Kardze prefecture in southwest Sichuan province this week, in a bid to guarantee clean power for to the Sichuan-Chongqing region over the peak summer season.

The station marks an important milestone in plans to build a 100 GW complex of clean energy on the Yalong River basin, comprising 30 GW of Hydro Power, 60 GW of wind and solar energy, and 10 GW of pumped storage systems to balance demand.

Located at an altitude of 4600 metres, the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station Phase I is the first stage of the Lianghekou Hydropower hybrid project along the Yalong river. A comparative project being planned in India is the 7.5 GW solar project in Ladakh, where progress is finally being made with government grants to settle the matter of transmission infrastructure.

As the world’s largest and highest altitude hybrid hydro-solar project the Kela project’s first phase is expected to generate over  2 billion kWh of electricity a year. With the right use of Hydro and pumped storage possibly, the project will allow more solar power to be injected into the grid.

For China, the project is dwarfed by the scale of some of the other projects it has in the pipeline, like the China desert project, which envisages 100 GW of wind and solar power in Western China. While full details are unavailable as usual, reports confirm that construction has already begun. The North, North west of the country with its vast swathes of non-agricultural land and cold, cloudless weather offers great opportunities for solar. However, relative lack of development and consequently, local demand, besides the high cost of transporting this energy to the power hungry coastal regions has limited moves until now. That looks set to change with the next stage of China’s clean energy push, including manufacturing clean energy equipment itself in these regions.

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