Complementary Clean Energy Development Becomes Reality
The Kola Photovoltaic Power Station, as part of the Lianghekou hydroelectric and photovoltaic power generation project along the Yalong River in southwest China’s Sichuan province, began to operate this June.(PHOTO: XINHUA)
By Staff Reporters
Energy security and safety has a bearing on the national economy and people's livelihood, and is always a vital necessity that no country neglects. To stay ahead of the curve, China is accelerating scientific planning and construction of a new energy system that aims to promote the complementary development of water, wind, hydrogen, natural gas as well as other forms of clean energy.
The Lianghekou hydroelectric and photovoltaic power generation project along the Yalong River in southwest China's Sichuan province is such an example that utilizes a combination of wind, water power and photovoltaic resources. The pumped storage sites available along the river serve as a demonstration base for water-wind-photovoltaic-integrated power generation, with a total scale estimated to reach more than 100 gigawatts.
The Kola Photovoltaic Power Station, as part of the project, began to operate this June. The electricity it generates is connected to the Lianghekou hydroelectric and photovoltaic power station through the power grid.
The volatility and randomness of photovoltaic power generation is evened out through the huge reservoir capacity of the station, so as to output stable power that can be centrally delivered to consumers.
This is what is described as water-wind-photovoltaic-integrated power generation. It draws on the benefits of abundant photovoltaic power during daytime, while ensuring that at night electricity continues to generate through water and wind. A similar principle applies when water resources abound as time draws closer to summer.
Such a mixed-storage power station as that of Lianghekou has both runoff power generation and pumped storage functions.
When conventional hydropower or wind power cannot independently meet the electricity requirements of the grid load, the hybrid storage power station operates to supplement electricity. Any surplus of photovoltaic power is used by the station to pump river water from beneath the hybrid storage power station's reservoir to a station on the bank, being stored as potential energy.
Benefitting local social economy
There are also economic benefits brought by the clean energy project. After its completion, the project is expected to create about 150,000 new jobs around the Yalong River areas.
The power station took more than 10 years to plan and build. During this time, the Yalongjiang company, under the State Development and Investment Corporation, invested a total of 12.1 billion RMB for infrastructure reconstruction and upgrading in the surrounding areas of the station. Roads and bridges were upgraded, and people living in nearby mountainous areas of the station are now better connected to the outside world.
After becoming fully operational, the Lianghekou station can generate more than 600 million RMB in tax for its base location in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture each year. Multiple industries have subsequently begun to flourish in that region, including transportation and tourism.
Hard work ensured completion of the project
The Laba mountain wind power project is another clean energy project based on the Yalong River. Its construction began in June last year and is expected to go operational this September.
To complete the project, the construction process requires overcoming the many curves and steep slopes of the Laba mountain. The original mountain roads were not able to meet the needs of large-scale equipment transportation.
"Carrying the tools, the builders walked into the mountains to open up new roads. During the rainy season, rolling stones and landslides come one after another, and every trip up the mountain was like an adventure," said Zhang Xiaohui, construction worker on the Laba mountain project.
Despite all this difficulty, the Laba mountain wind power project had completed 39 wind turbine installations by June 6.
Likewise, the construction of Kola Photovoltaic Power Station encountered challenges in winter, when the temperature difference between day and night can be as high as 30 degrees Celsius. Around 530,000 photovoltaic foundation piles were required to build a solar power station in a plateau area like west Sichuan.
The planning of the Kola station began on July, 2022 and construction has progressed successfully.