Yalong River’s Hydro-Solar Powerhouse Could Be the World’s Largest Clean Energy Marvel

October 31, 2023
1 min read
Light Up the Land Where Solar and Hydro Meet at the World's Largest Hydro-Solar Hybrid Power Plant.

In Qinghai Province, China, the Yalong River winds its way from the Bayan Har Mountains, meeting the Jinsha River in Sichuan. Amidst this natural beauty, blue PV panels capture sunlight at 4600 meters, while the Yalong River’s power is harnessed nearby. This is where solar meets hydro, creating a sustainable energy future and considered to be the world’s largest world’s largest hydro-solar hybrid power plant.

Hydro-Solar Hybrid Enhances Energy Sources.

The vast expanse of PV panels, colloquially termed the “PV sea,” is a segment of the groundbreaking Kela PV Plant Phase 1. This facility is a triple threat: it’s unparalleled in size, perched at the highest altitude, and stands as the pioneering GW hydro-solar hybrid power plant. With a staggering installed capacity of 1 GW, it sprawls over 16 km^2.

Digital and Intelligent Technologies Build a Benchmark Project.

Not too far, the architectural marvel, the Lianghekou Dam, stretches 295 meters tall on the Yalong River. This dam isn’t merely a structural feat; it’s a dual-purpose powerhouse, dedicated to hydropower generation and flood mitigation. Its impressive specs include an installed capacity of 3 million kW and a water storage prowess of 10.8 billion m^3. This dam is a linchpin in the renewable energy matrix of the basin. The synergy is evident as the Kela PV Plant and the Lianghekou Hydropower Plant are interlinked through 500 kV power transmission lines, exemplifying hydro-solar energy collaboration.

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The Kela PV Plant’s locale poses unique challenges. The region’s cold climate, significant altitude, and diurnal temperature swings are formidable. With winter temperatures nosediving to a frigid –30.6°C and frequent gale force winds, traditional PV plant O&M models would be hard-pressed to function. Enter Huawei FusionSolar’s trailblazing digital and intelligent solution. This innovation birthed an integrated O&M platform, redefining standards for high-altitude hydro-solar hybrid smart PV plants.

“PV + Animal Husbandry” Improves Ecological and Economical Benefits.

By June, Kela was operational, aiming for an annual 2 billion kWh yield, enough for 1 million homes. Its connection to Lianghekou boosts summer power supply, enhancing the Yalong River Basin’s clean energy output.

September 2023 saw Yalong Hydro and Huawei Digital Power unite, aiming to make the Yalong River Basin a hub for renewable innovation. Their focus? Clean energy, safety, conservation, and advanced storage solutions.

Huawei FusionSolar will work with customers and partners to make higher contributions to the achievement of the dual-carbon goals as well as the construction of a clean, low-carbon, safe, and efficient modern energy system.

Kela’s design respects local pastoral life. Yaks graze freely, and the plant has boosted local jobs. With initiatives like “PV + green industry,” it’s set to drive growth in agriculture, tourism, and more.

Huawei FusionSolar and Yalong Hydro are pioneering a green energy revolution in China. Their combined efforts promise an annual 300 billion kWh yield, lighting up 100 million homes. This collaboration is a positive news in our renewable journey, hopefully helping us champion a brighter, sustainable tomorrow.

Sunita Somvanshi

With over two decades of dedicated service in the state environmental ministry, this seasoned professional has cultivated a discerning perspective on the intricate interplay between environmental considerations and diverse industries. Sunita is armed with a keen eye for pivotal details, her extensive experience uniquely positions her to offer insightful commentary on topics ranging from business sustainability and global trade's environmental impact to fostering partnerships, optimizing freight and transport for ecological efficiency, and delving into the realms of thermal management, logistics, carbon credits, and energy transition. Through her writing, she not only imparts valuable knowledge but also provides a nuanced understanding of how businesses can harmonize with environmental imperatives, making her a crucial voice in the discourse on sustainable practices and the future of industry.

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