hydropower

High-altitude Maerdang Hydropower Station in Northwest China starts operation

This aerial photo taken on Sept. 14, 2023 shows a 750-kV ultra-high voltage substation equipped with a counter-unmanned aircraft system in the Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Qinghai Province. (CHN Energy Qinghai Maerdang Hydropower Station/Handout via Xinhua)

This aerial photo taken on Sept. 14, 2023 shows a 750-kV ultra-high voltage substation equipped with a counter-unmanned aircraft system in the Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China’s Qinghai Province. (CHN Energy Qinghai Maerdang Hydropower Station/Handout via Xinhua)

High-altitude Maerdang Hydropower Station, located on the upper reaches of the Yellow River in Northwest China, kicked off operation on Monday as its first generator unit is connected to the state grid.

The connection also marks an important step for the vast solar and wind power generation facilities in Northwest China’s Qinghai Province for full operation, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

All the units of the Maerdang Hydropower Station will be put into operation by December 2024, and it is expected to generate an average of 7.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, when fully operational, equivalent to saving approximately 2.2 million tons of standard coal and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 8.16 million tons per year.

Located in Qinghai Province, the station has a total of four hydropower generating units with a single unit capacity of 550 MW and another generator with a unit capacity of 120 MW. 

It is the core project of the first integrated clean-energy facility in the province to include hydropower, solar power, wind power and energy storage, built by China Energy Investment Corp, also known as China Energy.

The company said it will make full use of the abundant clean energy resources in West China, benefiting energy-shortage areas in the country’s eastern provinces.