New UHV Developments Will Bring More Than 30GW of New Photovoltaic Projects in China

PVTIME – State Grid Corporation of China released twelve measures on February 7 to ensure the resumption of project construction and enterprise operations. By the end of February, China is to achieve no less than 50% of work resumption. All provinces, with the exception of Hubei Province, will see full resumption of work before March 15.

Several UHV projects will resume construction while new projects will break ground. According to preliminary estimates, photovoltaic projects with at least a GW in capacity include:

Qinghai to Henan ± 800 kV UHV DC: 3GW photovoltaic

The ± 800kV UHV transmission channel from Qinghai to Henan is the world’s first 100% clean energy transmission channel, and the world’s first multi-kilowatt hydro, PV, and wind multi energy complementary demonstration project. The project aims to have the Qinghai section of the transmission line completed by the end of 2019, with a trial run planned for June 2020.

The construction scale of this project’s first phase will include 3GW of photovoltaic and 2 GW of wind power generating capacity, and the PV portion will be connected to the grid by the end of September 2020.

Yazhong to Jiangxi ± 800 kV UHVDC: 20GW photovoltaic

The Yazhong to Jiangxi ± 800 kV UHVDC project, the construction of a terminal converter station in Sichuan Province’s Liangshan Prefecture, was approved by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment in July of 2019.

In May 2019, the Sichuan Provincial Energy Bureau had already begun planning to add photovoltaic power stations in four regions of Western Sichuan. Each region is to have 1-3 stations, with each station’s capacity greater than 1GW.

According to reports, the combined capacity of these PV stations in Sichuan is expected to be around 20GW, and several institutions have been commissioned to carry out the planning and designing duties.

Northern Shaanxi to Wuhan: 3GW photovoltaic

State Grid of China announced that construction of the ± 800kV UHVDC project from Northern Shaanxi to Hubei has officially begun on February 28.

In January 2019, the National Development and Reform Commission had made it clear that the project, in consideration of power grid peak load balance, power transmission capacity, new energy consumption rate, and utilization hours of thermal power, should be supported by 8GW of thermal and 6GW (3GW PV and 3GW wind) of new energy power.

Zhangbei Flexible DC, Zhangbei to Xiongan 1000kV UHVAC: there are already 5.8GW of affordable photovoltaic projects in the local area

Solar resources are abundant in the Zhangbei area, and grid-parity is definitely a possibility under current costs but new energy consumption limited by structural problems in the region has deterred the construction of photovoltaic projects in this area.

However, the completion of these two UHV transmission lines will directly solve the local consumption problems previously outlined by Annex 3 of the Hubei Provincial Development and Reform Commission’s notice on 5.81 GW of grid parity projects in Zhangbei region.

1000 kV UHVAC from Mengzi to Jinzhong: the total transmission capacity will be 8000MW, photovoltaic scale is not yet clear

The 2019 Dalat Banner tender had the lowest bid of 0.26 yuan/kWh, which is lower than the local coal power benchmark price. Although solar resources in the Menxi region are abundant and grid-parity is fully achievable, local consumption concerns hobbled the development of affordable photovoltaic projects. With the construction of the transmission line between Mengzi to Jinzhong, local new energy consumption issues will be alleviated and bring new growth for photovoltaic and wind power to the area just as it will do for the Zhangbei region.