World’s largest “water-light complementary” power plant commissioned in Sichuan

World’s largest “water-light complementary” power plant commissioned in Sichuan

On June 25, the world’s largest and highest altitude hydro-photovoltaic complementary power plant undertaken by China Electric Power Construction Institute of Survey and Design (hereinafter referred to as China Electric Power Construction Institute), the first phase of hydro-photovoltaic complementary project of Yalong River Two Hekou Hydropower Station – Kola Photovoltaic Power Station, went into operation and generated electricity, raising the operation of hydro-photovoltaic complementary to the megawatt level for the first time.

It is reported that the Kola photovoltaic power station project is the Yalong River basin clean energy base “fourteen five” period the first start of construction of water and light complementary power station, installed 1 million kilowatts, a total of five sections of the bid to start construction at the same time. Chengdu Institute is responsible for the survey, design, procurement, construction, commissioning and grid-connected power generation of one third of the project, and takes the lead in the whole PV power plant. The project is located in the western part of Yajiang County in the territory of Ke La Township, at an altitude of 4,000m to 4,600m, with its height nearly 1,000m higher than Lhasa. The site covers an area of about 16 million square metres, equivalent to 2,000 standard football pitches.

According to the introduction, CEC Capital Institute constructed the tender section with the highest altitude, the largest scale, the largest area and the most complicated terrain, in which 92% of the plot, 75% of the pile types and 83% of the bracket types were encountered as the biggest challenges.

CEC Capital Institute started to undertake the planning of the Kola project in 2016, launched the feasibility study and design in 2021, and started construction in July 2022. The project is located at an altitude where the oxygen content is 50% lower than that of the plains. During the construction process, extreme weather such as high winds, snowstorms and freezing temperatures were frequent, which, together with the high cold and lack of oxygen and tight schedules, brought a severe test to the project construction. In addition, the large temperature difference between day and night caused the soil to freeze and thaw repeatedly, forming a structure like “frozen tofu”, which required foundation piles to be driven into the half-metre deep permafrost layer. The project department set up an attack team to carry out the innovative “lead hole – static pressure – backfill” method to compact and stabilise the originally loose “frozen tofu”.

Zhang Shishu, head of CEC Capital Institute, introduced that after the completion of Kola Power Station, the annual power generation can save more than 600,000 tons of standard coal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1.6 million tons, which is a model for achieving the goal of “carbon peak, carbon neutral”, optimising the national energy structure and helping to build a “green, low-carbon, safe and efficient” modern energy system. It is a model and leader in building a “green, low-carbon, safe and efficient” modern energy system.

In addition, through a series of measures such as “PV+infrastructure”, “PV+employment” and “PV+tourism”, Kola has driven the development of industries such as agriculture and animal husbandry, tourism and transportation in ethnic areas. The project will generate the benefits of “PV+N”.

Wu Di, chief engineer of the project design, said that because PV power generation is unstable, fluctuating and intermittent, it has a certain impact on grid security. In order to make it “stable”, water-light complementarity is a good solution. The electricity from Kola will be connected to the national grid through the Chengdu Institute’s design of the two river mouth hydropower station.

It is understood that the Yalong River Energy Base, when fully completed, will be one of the world’s largest green and clean renewable energy bases.

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