China News Service: Heavenly Road of Electricity Operates for 5 Years, Turns Resources into Economic Advantages along the Line

Xining, Dec. 15 (CNS) --On December 15, State Grid Qinghai Electric Power Company said that the Heavenly Road of Electricity has delivered 3.517TWh of electricity into the Tibet Autonomous Region and exported 1.03TWh of hydroelectric power out of the region, promoting the development of clean energies in areas along the line since it was completed at the end of 2011.

Dubbed as the "Heavenly Road of Electricity", Qinghai-Tibet AC/DC Interconnection Project connects Qinghai¡¯s Xining in the east and Tibet's Lhasa in the west, stretching 2,530 kilometers. It is one of the 23 key projects of China¡¯s Great Western Development Strategy and the DC transmission project at the highest altitude that has ever been built.

Tibet's Hydropower normalizes its output

Tibet has abundant hydropower resources, which are theoretically estimated to total 210GW. It is thus regarded as an important energy transmission base of the Electricity Transmission Project to deliver power from West China to the East. Tibet's water resources are rich in summer but wither in winter. As a result, it used to suffer power shortages in winter and be unable to consume the excessive power in high-water seasons.

According to Zhang Hongping, director of regulation and control center of State Grid Qinghai Electric Power Company, "Heavenly Road of Electricity" has provided power to Tibet to a maximum extent every winter over the past five years, ensuring electricity supply for local residents. Zhang also said that Tibet's industrial electricity has been made fully accessible, thoroughly solving seasonal power shortages in the region and removing the obstacle of insufficient power supply in the way of Tibet's economic development.

On June 1, 2015, the "Heavenly Road of Electricity" exported power out of Tibet for the first time. Tibet's clean energies were included into the electric power balance in Northwest China, and hydropower generated in central Tibet was consumed in Qinghai.

Tibet exported 332GWh of hydropower in 2015 and 698GWh in 2016, marking that Tibet's power export in high-water seasons has become a normal.

Experts forecast that Tibet Grid will be able to export large amounts of power through "Heavenly Road of Electricity" at the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan period due to the development of hydropower resources in middle reaches of Yalutsangpo River. It is estimated that a total of 1.2TWh of power will be exported across provinces, which is equivalent to carbon dioxide emission reduction by 367,700 tons.

Boost development of large-scale PV industry in Qaidam Basin

Qaidam Basin is one of the areas with most abundant solar power in China. It has a 100,000-square-kilometer deserted land on which photovoltaic power generation facilities can be built. At present, Qinghai's clean energy industries including PV are growing by 1GW per year. Two GW-level large-scale centralized PV power stations in Qaidam and Gonghe have been built up and integrated to the grid.

Cao Changrui, head of State Grid Qinghai Maintenance Company's converter station in Qaidam, said that Qaidam was unable to meet power demands of the economic zone on the west side merely through two long-distance 330kV transmission lines before "Heavenly Road of Electricity" was put into operation. Huge amounts of renewable energy like solar power could not be exported, Cao said.

During the past five years, the Qaidam- Lhasa DC Transmission System has been successfully improved for six times from 100MW to 400MW. The transmitting capacity of the system has mounted by six times. In a single day, the system can export a total of 5.8GWh, increasing by 4.02GWh.

Zhang Hongping noted that the improvement in the capacity of power export of the Qinghai-Tibet AC/DC Grid Interconnection Project has greatly stimulated the growth of the PV industry in Qinghai's Qaidam: interconnection capacity in the place increased by 3.08GW, reaching 3.373GW.

Difficulties in sales, exports and peak shaving have long hampered the development of renewable energy like solar power. To solve these problems, Qinghai has launched research on multi-energy complementary integration and optimization at its clean energy base.

Become a major passageway of exporting Qinghai's renewable energy and Xinjiang's electricity 

In July 2013, the second Xinjiang-Northwest Main Grid Transmission Line was put into operation. Through the Xining-Golmud 750kV AC Transmission Line of "Heavenly Road of Electricity", Xinjiang Grid was connected to Northwest Main Grid.

Zhang Hongping said that "Heavenly Road of Electricity" had become a power hub linking Gansu in the east, Tibet in the south and Xinjiang in the west centered around Qaidam. It is a major passageway of exporting Qinghai's renewable energy and Xinjiang's electricity.

Guo Shunning, director of energy bureau of the Qinghai Provincial Development and Reform Commission, said that "Heavenly Road of Electricity" played a positive role in improving China's energy structure, meeting the needs of developing clean energy bases in Qinghai and Gansu, and boosting socio-economic development in Qinghai, Tibet and Gansu.

Source: China News Service


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