China starts building its largest solar plant

Beijing, July 22 (IANS) China has begun constructing its largest solar power plant spread over 2,550 hectares in the Gobi desert.

The plant will come up in Qinghai province.

The plant will have an installed capacity of 200 megawatts, and be capable of supplying electricity to 1 million households, according to Qinghai Solar-Thermal Power Group.

“Its designed heat storage is 15 hours, thus, it can guarantee stable, continual power generation,” Xinhua quoted group board chair Wu Longyi as saying.

Once operational, the plant will slash standard coal use by 4.26 million tonnes every year, reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide by 896,000 tonnes and 8,080 tonnes, respectively.

The solar power tower system boasts higher efficiency and better energy storage than the more commonly used trough system.

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.

China has been focusing on increasing its proportion of clean energy. By 2014, the country’s solar power capacity was 28.05 gigawatts, 400 times more than 2005, and there are plans to increase this to around 100 gigawatts by 2020.

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