World’s largest solar plant goes online in China


Chinese state-owned utility Huanghe Hydropower Development has finished building the world's largest solar power project in a desert in the northwestern Chinese province of Qinghai.

Chinese inverter manufacturer Sungrow, which supplied the inverters, said that the 2.2 GW solar plant was built in five phases. It involved an investment of RMB15.04 billion ($2.2 billion) and includes 202.8 MW/MWh of storage capacity. The company announced the storage system as a solar+storage project in mid-May, but at the time it did not reveal that it was to be connected to a giant solar plant.

The project was built with monocrystalline bifacial modules, supplied by an unnamed manufacturer, and 900 MW of Sungrow's SG250HX 1,500 V string inverters. “Sungrow supplied the highly integrated energy storage system, features AC-coupled, low-voltage design, which can increase the utilization of the transformer, guaranteeing a lower system cost,” the company told pv magazine. 

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Construction of the PV plant began in November 2019 and was completed in September. The storage system was deployed within four months, from May to September. The installation will sell power to the local grid at a price of RMB0.34/kWh.

The complex is connected to an ultra-high voltage power line that State Grid Corp. of China is building to connect the far northwestern parts of the country to the more densely populated eastern provinces. The RMB22.6 billion power line project will include the construction of two converter stations with 8 GW of transmission capacity. The line will extend 1,587 kilometers across Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi and Henan provinces.

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