Construction begins on world’s second-largest PV project


The government of the Chinese province of Hunan said on Friday that construction has started on a 3 GW solar power plant near Zhongwei, a city in the Tengger Desert in China's Ningxia Hui region. 

The project is currently the world's second-largest PV plant under construction, following a 3.3 GW solar facility that state-owned China Huadian is currently building in Changdu, Sichuan province.

The new facility in the Tengger Desert will be located in Yingshuiqiao, Shapotou district. It will require an investment of around CNY 15.25 billion ($2.2 billion). The project's first phase will have a capacity of 1 GW and the related investment will amount to CNY 5.11 billion.

The plant will be connected to the ultra-high voltage power line Ningxia-Hunan ±800 kV UHV DC. The CNY 100 billion line should be operational next year, and will stretch from Ningxia Hui to Hunan province. It will pass through Ningxia, Gansu, Shaanxi, Chongqing, Hubei and Hunan provinces.

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The government of Hunan said that the solar park is expected to produce 5.78 billion kWh per year upon full completion. It said it is expected to generate an operating income of CNY 1.5 billion yuan, without providing further details.

The world's largest operational PV plant is currently a 2.2 GW facility that Chinese state-owned utility Huanghe Hydropower Development put into operation in October 2020. This project is also expected to be connected to an ultra-high voltage power line that State Grid Corp is building in China. The CNY 22.6 billion power line project includes 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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