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Major Project of China’s West-to-East Power Transmission Program Starts Operation

Baihetan Hydropower Station. [Photo/]


BEIJING — A major part of China’s west-to-east power transmission program kicked off operation Friday, a further boost to the coordinated development among different regions.

With its transmission line stretching about 2,080 km, the Baihetan-Jiangsu 800-kilovolt ultra-high-voltage (UHV) direct current power transmission project transmits clean hydropower from the southwestern province of Sichuan to east China’s economic powerhouse Jiangsu province.

It is the world’s first UHV direct current power transmission project using a new approach that combines the conventional direct current and flexible direct current technologies, according to the State Grid Corporation of China.

Starting construction in December 2020, the mega project spans five provincial regions, with many parts built into the mountains.

“We have worked against high altitude, low temperatures and complex landscapes to meet the schedule,” said Zhang Mingdi, a project manager participating in the construction of the project’s Sichuan section.

China’s west-to-east power transmission program seeks to balance the country’s electricity supply and demand in different regions. It transmits the electricity surplus in western regions rich in power-generating resources to eastern regions which need much electricity to power economic activities.

Sichuan is home to the project’s powerhouse Baihetan, the world’s second-largest hydropower station. The Baihetan-Jiangsu project is expected to accelerate the transformation of Sichuan’s natural resources into economic benefits, bringing investment totaling about 100 billion yuan (about $14.92 billion) in electricity and other sectors.

The electricity market’s volume of Jiangsu, the power transmission’s major receiver, is expected to top 10 million kW during the 2021-2025 period.

The project has a power transmission capacity of 8 million kW, generally meeting the demand of Jiangsu’s power demand, said Wu Wei, vice director of the construction department of State Grid Jiangsu Electric Power Co., Ltd.

Some 14 million tonnes of coal could be saved thanks to the project, which can deliver more than 30 billion kWh of clean electricity annually, helping reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 25 million tonnes every year.


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