China commands the wind and the sun. A gigantic “hybrid” power plant is growing in the vast desert

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China has commissioned the first of many planned combined photovoltaic and wind power generation projects. Their size and location are unique. One such project is capable of generating power for one and a half million homes annually, reports China Daily.

Ideal location for a giant solar farm

The first phase of the solar-wind project is located in the Tengri Desert. This is the eastern edge of the vast Gobi Desert. The current installed capacity is one million kilowatts. Upon completion, the capacity is expected to almost double (1.8 million kW). China Energy, a domestic company, is behind the construction.

It is also the first ultra-high voltage transmission in China and the first large-scale project to use otherwise inhospitable areas of nearby deserts for power generation. When complete, the project will have an annual generation capacity of a whopping 13 million kilowatts. The estimated investment will be worth 85 billion Chinese yuan. This equates to a sum of 12.3 billion dollars.

So far, it’s a “grain of sand”

The Chinese government has unveiled a project for the construction of combined renewable energy plants by the end of 2021. Although such a project seems already bulky, in total China wants to install up to 100 GW of solar panels and wind turbines. They want to use the dry areas of all nineteen provinces to do this. Deserts seem to be the ideal area, but China has more similarly inhospitable areas.

The autonomous regions of NingxiaXinjiang and Inner Mongolia are expected to benefit the most. Indeed, their vast areas offer ideal applications for these types of renewable electricity sources. It is good to see that, at least in the pursuit of reducing the carbon footprint, the world can hold together.

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