State Grid of China switches on world’s largest pumped-hydro station


The State Grid Corporation of China, which is China’s largest state-owned grid operator and power utility, has commissioned, last week, the 3.6GW Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station, a pumped-storage hydroelectric power station located in Hebei province.

The construction of the $1.87 billion project, which was implemented in two 1.8GW phases, was started by engineering company China Gezhouba Group Company Limited in 2014.

The facility consists of 12 reversible pump generating sets with a capacity of 300MW each and has a power generation capacity from storage of 6.612 billion kWh. It is connected to the Zhangbei VSC-HVDC power grid and the North China 500kV power grid, State Grid said in a statement.

The core of the Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station.

Image: State Grid Corp of China

According to the company, the pumped-hydro station will operate as a peaking power plant for the safe and stable operation of the grid by balancing the intermittent power supply from large wind and solar parks located in northern Hebei and Inner Mongolia.

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State Grid chairman, Xin Baoan, stressed this is the first time in China that a pumped-hydro storage plant has been connected to a flexible DC network.

According to the National Energy Administration, China is targeting 62GW of operational pumped-hydro facilities by 2025 and 120GW by 2030. Currently, it has 30.3GW of operational pumped-hydro stations, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

*The article was amended on January 5 to reflect that 6.612 billion kWh is the facility's power generation capacity from storage, and not its storage capacity, as we previously reported.

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