China starts building its largest solar plant

Beijing, July 22 (IANS) China has begun building its largest solar power plant in Qinghai province, authorities said.

Occupying 2,550 hectares of the Gobi desert in Golmud city, 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,” reported Xinhua citing group board chair Wu Longyi.

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

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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