Renewables

China completes world’s second-largest hydropower plant

China world s second largest hydropower plant

Photo: China Three Gorges Corp.

Published

December 28, 2022

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Published:

December 28, 2022

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The China Three Gorges Corp.’s Baihetan facility is in full operation. At 16 GW, it is the second-biggest hydropower plant in the world.

The largest hydropower cascade on the planet is located on the Yangtze river in China. State-owned China Three Gorges Corp., which operates the 22.5 GW Three Gorges hydroelectric station, the biggest power plant in the world in terms of capacity, has completed the 16 GW Baihetan facility, which is now second in both categories!

The dam that holds 20.6 billion cubic meters of water is on the Jinsha river, the upper section of the Yangtze in the country’s southwest.

The structure on the border between the provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan hosts 16 turbines. They are able to generate 62.4 TWh of electricity per year, equivalent to the consumption of 75 million people in the most populous nation or 90.4 million tons of standard coal for thermal power plants.

Yangtze hydroelectric complex has 71.7 GW in combined capacity

Construction works began in 2017 and the first units were commissioned in June 2021. In the meantime, the water level reached the target 825 meters. The last turbine was installed in May this year.

The cascade on the Yangtze river spans 1,800 kilometers and consists of six hydropower plants with 110 units in total and a whopping 71.7 GW in combined capacity. The complex is contributing to the transmission of electricity from China’s western resource-rich regions to the energy-intensive economic hubs in the east.

Setting standards in energy transition

In addition, China revealed plans two years ago to install a string of hydropower plants on the Yarlung Zangbo river, the upstream section of the Brahmaputra. The 60 GW ambition for Tibet prompted India’s protest due to concerns that it would be deprived of water.

The government in Beijing is committed to setting global standards for renewable energy and batteries and other storage solutions as it is working on a strategy to cut the use of coal and achieve net zero emissions by 2060. The world’s largest vanadium flow battery system was recently put into operation there. The city of Chaozhou in Guangdong has revealed a plan for an offshore wind power plant of 43.3 GW in the Taiwan Strait.

The seventh out of 12 units has just been commissioned at the world’s largest pumped storage hydropower project

Just last month, the world’s first commercial floating solar power plant on the sea was commissioned offshore Haiyang in eastern China. It is integrated it with an offshore wind turbine, which means it is also the first hybrid power plant of the kind.

Last week, State Grid Corp. of China (SGCC) commissioned the seventh out of 12 units in its Fengning pumped storage hydropower plant, which is set to become the biggest on Earth.

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