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CGN unveils solar power unit

By Zheng Xin | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-11 11:13
An employee of CGN New Energy Holdings inspects solar panels at a power plant in Golmud, Qinghai province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Nation's first such commercial plant enters operation amid green push

CGN New Energy Holdings Co Ltd's Delingha 50 megawatt thermal power plant entered operation on Oct 10 in Northwest China's Qinghai province.

It is the country's first large commercial parabolic-trough concentrated solar power plant, and its launch makes China the eighth nation in the world with such a facility, said Li Yilun, executive director of CGN New Energy, a subsidiary of China General Nuclear Power Corp.

This is a landmark for the company's solar thermal energy development after more than ten years of development, Li said during a news conference held in Beijing on Wednesday.

According to Li, CGN's solar power business currently covers 29 province-level regions across the country, with an installed power generation capacity exceeding 2.58 million kilowatts, ranking it No 3 nationwide.

Li said that compared with other photovoltaic power, the concentrated solar power features continuous and steady generation of electricity, enjoying greater development potential.

Built on a sparsely populated plateau, 3,000 meters above sea level, the Delingha power plant occupies 2.46 square kilometers. The plant first connected to the grid on June 30.

According to Wang Zhigang, managing director of the Delingha project, the solar power facility is located on a plateau with cold temperatures and low oxygen levels, and it is capable of producing 200 million kilowatt hours annually. It can replace more than 60,000 metric tons of standard coal each year and 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year, he said.

Construction on the main part of the project commenced in August 2015. It is the country's first solar power plant to be connected to the power grid. It is also the first solar thermal power project to receive a preferential loan from the Asian Development Bank, according to CGN.

CGN has also been exploring other forms of new energy, including nuclear power and the country's first large scale offshore wind power project in Shanghai, Li said.

Joseph Jacobelli, a senior analyst of Asian utilities at Bloomberg Intelligence, said the project is evidence that Chinese electricity producers remain very keen to develop clean energy.

"Chinese power producers are all seeking more advanced solutions," said Jacobelli. "We would expect that companies such CGN New Energy will continue to seek out more advanced wind, solar and energy stor-age technologies in coming years."

The chances are high that these Chinese clean energy companies will continue to expand abroad, as many companies are stepping up their participation in overseas markets, actively investing in assets abroad buoyed by the China-led Belt and Road Initiative, he said.

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