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China starts construction of largest solar power plant

The plant in Qinghai province will have an installed capacity of 200 megawatts, and be capable of supplying electricity to 1 million households. "Its designed heat storage is 15 hours, thus, it can guarantee stable, continual power generation," according to Qinghai Solar-Thermal Power Group board chair Wu Longyi.

July 22, 2015 / 08:33 PM IST

China has started construction of its largest solar power plant spread over 6,301 acres in the Gobi desert that can supply electricity to 1 million households in the country's northwest.

The plant in Qinghai province will have an installed capacity of 200 megawatts, and be capable of supplying electricity to 1 million households. "Its designed heat storage is 15 hours, thus, it can guarantee stable, continual power generation," according to Qinghai Solar-Thermal Power Group board chair Wu Longyi.


Once operational, the plant will slash standard coal use by 4.26 million tonnes every year, reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide by 896,000 tonnes and 8,080 tonnes, respectively, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Using heliostats to focus sunlight onto a central tower for power generation, the solar power tower system boasts higher efficiency and better energy storage than the more commonly used trough system.

Located 2,870 meters above sea level on the Qinghai- Tibetan Plateau, Golmud has particularly favorable conditions for the developing new energy industry, said Wu Tianxiao deputy secretary of Communist Party of China in Golmud.

The plant will also be China's first large-scale solar power plant under commercial operation, said Yu Mingzhen, vice director of Qinghai development and reform commission, heralding the project a landmark in China's solar energy development.

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