Two of the world’s first one-gigawatt turbines started full power generation on Monday at the giant Baihetan hydropower turbines station in southwestern China.
By Echo Xie
According to state broadcaster CCTV, Baihetan started generating electricity on Monday, after a three-day trial operation. When completed, it will house 16 China-developed generators, providing a total capacity of 16 gigawatts.
Baihetan, on the border between Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, will be the second largest hydropower station in the world – after the Three Gorges Dam in Sichuan province – when all generators are up and running in July next year. The 220 billion yuan (US$34 billion) project is being built by the China Three Gorges Corporation.
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It will be able to produce more than 62 terawatt hours of electricity a year and help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 52 million tonnes when it is in full operation, CCTV said. Power generated by Baihetan will be sent to affluent provinces in the Yangtze River Delta, including Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
President Xi Jinping sent his congratulations on Monday, soon after the generators were in full operation. “Baihetan hydropower turbines station … is the world’s biggest and technically more difficult hydropower project that is now under construction,” he said, according to CCTV.
“It represents a major breakthrough in China’s high-end equipment manufacturing with its one-gigawatt generating units, which are the world’s first.”
Originally published at South China morning post