On July 8, 2022, the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station, the world's largest integrated hydro-solar power station, officially started construction. The Kela station is also the first phase of the hydro-solar complementary project of the Yalong River Lianghekou Hydropower Station.
The Yalong River Lianghekou Hydropower Station is a leading reservoir hydropower station developed by the Yalong River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd. in the middle reaches of the Yalong River and also the largest reservoir hydropower station in Sichuan province. The Kela Photovoltaic Power Station, the first phase of the hydro-solar complementary project of the Lianghekou Hydropower Station, is located at Kela township, Yajiang county, the Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Sichuan province, and at the 4,000-4,600-meter high altitudes. With a total investment of 5.3 billion yuan, the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station has an installed capacity of one million kilowatts and is planned to start operation in full capacity by 2023. With an annual utilization time of 1,735 hours, the Kela station will be able to generate 2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity on average per year. Once completed, the volume of electricity generated by the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station is equivalent to saving 600,000 tons of standard coal and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1.6 million tons each year. Construction of the project is of demonstrating and guiding role in helping the country realize its carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals, optimize the national energy structure and build the "green, low carbon, secured and highly efficient" modern energy system.
The world's largest integrated hydro-solar power station helps construction of the world's largest green, clean and renewable energy base and serves the country's goal of carbon peak and carbon neutrality
Rendering of Kela Photovoltaic Power Station, the Yalong River Lianghekou Hydro-Solar Complementary Power Project
The Kela Photovoltaic Power Station is the world's largest integrated hydro-solar power station, and the first under-construction integrated hydro-solar power station of the Yalong River Basin Clean Energy Base, one of the country's nine major clean energy bases, in China's 14th Five-Year Plan. It is also the key project of Sichuan province's renewable energy development plan in the 14th Five-Year Plan.
To make contributions to the realization of the country's carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals, SDIC Group and Sichuan Provincial Investment Group Co., Ltd. join hands to invest in the project and the Yalong River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd., a controlling company of SDIC, makes full use of its outstanding advantages of "one company develops one river", multi energy sources supplementing each other, strong regulating ability and solid basic conditions to put forward two "four-stage" strategy of hydropower, new energy and pump-storage power generation development, actively explores the development pattern of hydro-wind-solar complementary power stations and spares no efforts in promoting the construction of the Yalong River basin integrated hydro-wind-solar green, clean and renewable energy demonstration base.
According to the Yalong River basin renewable energy integration development plan, the Yalong River Basin Clean Energy Base will have a total installed capacity of more than 80 million kilowatts, of which about 30 million kilowatts will be hydropower, over 40 million kilowatts will be wind and photovoltaic power, and over 10 million kilowatts will be pump-storage power. When all the projects are completed, it will become one of the largest green, clean and renewable energy bases in the world.
After the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station is completed, the total installed capacity of green, clean and renewable energy of the Yalong River Hydropower will hit over 20 million kilowatts and become the largest electricity generation company in Sichuan province. When all the Yaolong River basin integrated hydro-wind-solar power stations of the green, clean and renewable energy demonstration base are completed, the base will be able to generate more than 220 billion kilowatt hours of electricity each year, which is equivalent to saving about 70 million tons of standard coal and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 180 million tons annually.
The Kela project has raised, for the first time, the scale of "integrated hydro-solar" project to the one-million-kilowatt level and is expected to build itself into a model project of large-scale clean and renewable energy development
Rendering of the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station transmission routes
Photovoltaic power generation is highly influenced by circadian rhythm. At noon time, photovoltaic power generation output reaches its peak while during the night, power output is zero. The high fluctuation and randomness produce negative impacts on power grids when large-scale photovoltaic power generation is connected with a power grid network and therefore will affect the stable operation of a grid network.
An auxiliary 220 kilovolt booster substation and an 500 kilovolt collect station are built with the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station and power generated by the Kela station is connected with the 500 kilovolt collect station via two 220 kilovolt transmission lines and then connected with the Lianghekou Hydropower Station via the 500 kilovolt transmission line.
The Lianghekou hydropower station has a total installed capacity of 3 million kilowatts. With a total storage capacity of 10.8 billion cubic meters, the Lianghekou reservoir has a regulation storage capacity of around 6.56 billion cubic meters and can play a key role in regulating and adjusting the fluctuations and randomness of the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station, thus making hydropower and solar power complementing each other in different seasons and supplying stable power to the grid network.
Li Sheng, executive vice president of the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute, said that the hydro-solar complementary development model of the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station will boost consumption of new energy through the complementary functions of hydropower and photovoltaic power stations. At the same time, by complementing hydropower and solar power generation, the utilization of power transmission and power generation benefits can also be increased. The Kela Photovoltaic Power Station has, for the first time, raised the scale of hydro-solar complementary development project to the one-million-kilowatt level, which is of great demonstration effect.
The Yajiang county and neighboring Litang county region where the Kela project is located has the richest photovoltaic resource in the Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture. Experience gained from the power transmission and hydro-solar complementary development is expected to help further promote the development of clean energy in this region and build it into a China model in the sector of large-scale and concentrated development of green, clean and renewable energy.
Implementation of the innovative "integration of animal husbandry-solar power" generates "photovoltaic power + N" benefits to help boost rural revitalization in the ethnic minority region
The region where the Kela project is located is an economically underdeveloped area inhabited by ethnic minorities. During construction, the Kela project will contribute an estimated 600 million yuan in taxes and fees to the local coffer and after the project is put into operation, it will contribute annually more than 150 million yuan in taxes and fees to the local government. To help further promote the rural revitalization drive in the region, the Kela project will adopt a series of measures such as "photovoltaic power + special industry", "photovoltaic power + infrastructure facilities upgrading" and "photovoltaic power + employment" to drive the development of agriculture and animal husbandry, tourism and communications, etc., so as to generate the "photovoltaic power + N" benefits for the locals.
Photovoltaic power + special industry. Solar modules of the Kela project will be raised up to the height of at least 1.8 meters above the ground through solar brackets so as to create space for vegetation growth and cattle and sheep grazing and realize the goal of "photovoltaic power and animal husbandry complementing each other".
Photovoltaic power + infrastructure facilities upgrading. Construction of the Kela project will help upgrade all the infrastructure facilities in the region through road renovation, building more water supply, wastewater treatment and garbage treatment facilities, planting plateau plants and conducting plateau ecological protection research to continuously create village landscapes and upgrade village architecture features.
Photovoltaic power + employment. Construction of the Kela project will help create jobs for the locals and stabilize its economic growth in the region. During construction, the Kela project will create more than 3,000 jobs for the locals. After the project is put into operation, it will be able to continuously provide jobs for the locals in the sectors of photovoltaic modules cleaning, maintenance, security and sanitation, etc..
The Kela project is also expected to help boost the development of tourism and communications in the ethnic minority region and make solid contributions to the rural revitalization.
The Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture is promoting construction of the hydro-wind-solar integration renewable energy base and the plateau modern agriculture-animal husbandry in a scientific and orderly way and develop the region's world-renowned ecological and cultural tourism industry. Construction of the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station will drive the development of related industries in the Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture, become an economy growth engine, solidify its achievements in getting rid of poverty and drive its rural revitalization, which is of great significance for promoting the high quality development of the Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture.
Promoting project construction from “high starting point” and with “ high standard, high quality” so as to build the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station into a “model project” and “first class project”
Rendering of the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station
Located at the high altitude area, the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station encounters severe conditions in construction and efficiency of both employees and machinery is seriously affected by the conditions, which brings huge challenges to the project construction. Each year, the frozen season runs from November to March of the following year which means short construction period. Moreover, there are lots of hidden ice in the engineering region and the lowest temperature is below minus 30 degrees. Covering an area of about 16 square kilometers which is equivalent to the size of 80 Bird Nest stadiums, the Kela project has a huge amount of work. The project will be equipped with more than 2 million solar modules, more than 5,000 inverters and more than 300 box-type transformers. The project is projected to be operational in 2023, with less than one year's time for construction. In addition, construction sites of the project are mostly located at forest and grass lands which requires high attention to be paid to fire prevention during construction and means much more difficulties than similar projects in other places.
Facing the countless difficulties, the Yalong Rivr Hydropower Development Co., Ltd. adopts a comprehensive management system through the whole process of the project construction, actively promotes high quality, safe and standardized construction, and enhances environment protection so as to optimize all the management goals of the project. The company also launches work campaigns to stimulate the enthusiasm and innovative capabilities of the employees in order to build the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station into a green, low carbon, safe and highly efficient "model project" and "first class project".
Cross industry integration of "digital + photovoltaic power" helps build the Kela project into a world advanced hydro-solar integrated “digital and intelligent” photovoltaic power station
The Kela Photovoltaic Power Station will optimize its operation and maintenance model and increase its efficiency of construction and operation-maintenance through digital and intelligent measures. The project will, through the building of an integrated operation-maintenance platform, conduct intelligent diagnosis and analysis for equipment breakdowns through its intelligent system consisting of big data and self-learning, and integrate station safety pre-warning and facility maintenance in an innovative way so as to realize the goal of comprehensive intelligent integration of the hydro-solar power station and build the project into a model of intelligent hydro-solar power station at high altitude region.
Meanwhile, the Yalong River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd. is cooperating with the National Engineering Technology Research Center for Remote Sensing Application and the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to build a multi-dimensional and digital twin platform for the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station to realize the goal of high accuracy, true three-dimension and all live dynamic and holographic engraving of the Kela Photovoltaic Power Station. Auxiliary facilities of the power station adopt whole service-life intelligent management from planning to construction and to maintenance-management so as to raise its efficiency, guarantee the project is completed in time and guarantee the project is safe.
Shen Zhanfeng, deputy director of the National Engineering Technology Research Center for Remote Sensing Application, said that located at the high altitude region, the Kela project can substantially raise its project quality, safety, benefits and environment friendliness through introducing the digital twin technology in assisting its engineering and construction. Intelligent construction can help provide technology support to and safety guarantee for the long-term stable operation of the power station and experience gained from the project can also be used as reference for construction of other similar clean energy projects in the high altitude regions of the country.
Qi Ningchun, chairman of the Yalong River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd., said that as one of the country's key electricity enterprises, the Yalong River Hydropower always considers it its top responsibility to develop clean energy and guarantee stable supply of electricity. The company will continue to make full use of its unique advantages of “one company develops one river” to quicken its pace in the large-scale, concentrated and scientific development of new energy in the Yalong River basin, spare no efforts in promoting the construction of the integrated hydro-wind-solar green, clean and renewable energy demonstration base and make active contributions to realizing the country's "carbon peak and carbon neutrality" goals and building a modern energy system with clean, low carbon, safe and highly efficient characteristics. In the process of clean energy development, the company will continue to play its role in benefiting the local people and promoting common prosperity through construction of the large project. The company will also explore the benefit-sharing new model of renewable energy development so as to make solid contributions to promoting the high quality development of Sichuan province and rural revitalization in the ethnic minority region.