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China Starts Construction on 13.6GW Coal-Fired Power Base

August 10th, 2009 · No Comments

China reportedly started construction on its first 10GW wind power farm in remote Jiuquan, Gansu province on Saturday.  There was no word on how this start of construction differed from the start of construction announced last month on  the same facility.  I guess you can never start construction too many times on a wind facility.

The Jiuquan mega wind power base will be built in two phases. The first one, a 3.8 GW base comprising of 18 200-MW and two 100-MW wind farms, is developed by 20 developers and will be completed by 2010, Feng Jianshen, vice governor of Gansu, told reporters.

Construction for the second phase, consisting of 40 200-MW wind farms will kick off in 2010.

Reuters reports that Chinese power firms Huaneng Power International and Datang International Power are among the project developers in the first phase “which also include six foreign firms” according to Mr. Feng, although he did not give any names.

Last month China Daily reported that

Top domestic wind firms like turbine makers Sinovel Wind, Goldwind Science and Technology, and Dongfang Electric would benefit the most from the mega farm thrust, accounting for about 80 percent of the market in the first phase of the project, Wang [Jianxin, director of Jiuquan Development and Reform Commission] said.

The market share of local and overseas turbine producers is about 50:50 in the existing wind farms of the city, he said.

Director Wang did not explain why the pendulum had swung so dramatically in favor of domestic firms for this mega-project.

I haven’t heard read any announcements by foreign firms that they have a piece of this project.  If anyone else has seen something, please let me know.

While the wind power component of this project has received considerable press, less publicized is the fact that Jiuquan is also building up a coal-fired power base which will “reach the installed capacity of 13.6 million KW by 2020, revealed Wang [Jianxin, Director of Jiuquan Development and Reform Committee].”  Given Jiuguan’s remote location and lack of domestic generation, the coal-fired capacity is needed to support the power output of the wind project “at times of low wind speeds.”  The coal for the thermal plants will be sourced from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

It appears that China’s Three Gorges of Wind will be supported by a Three Gorges of Coal.

Tags: carbon emissions · energy policy · wind

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