[Ferro-Alloys.com] Province making strides in switching to renewable energy and protecting local environment.
North China's Shanxi province started construction on a pumped-storage hydropower station in Yuanqu county, Yuncheng city on Feb 18, a major step in the province carrying pilot comprehensive reform on energy production.
Jointly funded by State Grid Xinyuan and State Grid Shanxi Electric Power with a total investment of 7.96 billion yuan ($1.13 billion), the power station will have a total capacity of 1.2 million kilowatts with four reversible pump turbine generators.
The station, located in the south of Shanxi province, is a major project in China's renewable energy and hydropower plan for the 13th Five-Year plan (2016-20) period, and a key project of Shanxi's energy reform, which aims to shift from the use of coal-fired power to that of multiple renewable energy resources.
According to the project's planners, the Yuanqu power station is expected to be put into operation by 2028.
The station will also use new energy sources such as wind power, and new power-transmission modes such as ultra-high-voltage direct current and ultra-high-voltage alternating current to reduce reliance on coal consumption in power generation and improve transmission efficiency.
It will help to reduce coal consumption by about 290,000 metric tons, emissions of carbon dioxide by about 540,000 tons, sulfur dioxide by some 1,800 tons and nitrogen oxide by 650 tons annually, according to project planners.
Shanxi is a major electricity producer in China. Its rich energy resources like coal made it the first province to deliver electricity nationwide.
In 2009, the world's first 1,000-kilovolt UHVAC power transmission project－the Jindongnan-Nanyang-Jingmen UHVAC transmission project－became operational in Shanxi province, showcasing China's manufacturing ability in long-distance, large-capacity and low-loss UHV power transmission.
As one of the northern channels of China's west-to-east electricity network, Shanxi transmits power to Beijing and Tianjin, as well as Hebei, Jiangsu, Hubei and Shandong provinces.
The province has established nine transmitting channels and 18 return lines, which have a total delivery capacity of 38.3 million kW.
The Shanxi provincial government released new environmental improvement measures in 2017, requiring coal-to-electricity and gasto-electricity transformation and use of new energy as the driving force of the province's energy reform.
According to Wang Jinhao, director of the grid technology center of State Grid Shanxi Electric Power Research Institute, Shanxi has worked on new energy development for 12 years. With a total installed capacity of 23 million kW, the new energy sector has become the second-largest power supplier in the province.
Wang said pumped hydroelectricity storage is an effective power storing tool that has become one of the largest and most widely used energy storage forms. It can store energy in the form of water in an upper reservoir, pumped from another reservoir at a lower elevation. During periods of high electricity demand, power is generated by releasing the stored water through turbines.
It is one of the most competitive and reliable ways of storing electricity, enabling the efficient use of surplus energy for the entire grid. A pumped-storage hydropower station has a service life of up to 80 or even 100 years, according to industry insiders.
In 2013, Yuanqu and Hunyuan county in Shanxi province were recommended as the sites for pumped-storage hydropower stations by the National Energy Administration.
The Yuanqu pumped-storage hydropower station was listed as a key project in China's 13th Five-Year Plan for hydropower development in 2016 and one of the key projects in Shanxi province in 2018 and 2019.
According to the project plan, land preparation, major tunnels and roads linking the upper and lower reservoirs will be completed this year.
Liu Sheyuan, head of the People's Congress of Yuanqu county, said,"The project will help improve local traffic conditions, increase local government revenue and provide jobs for about 3,500 people, as well as drive the development of other industries such as tourism in the county."
Li Yali contributed to this story.（China Daily）
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