China develops 3.6GW pumped storage facility

CHINA: China is to construct a pumped power storage facility capable of holding 3.6GW, the world's largest to date, in a CNY 17 billion ($2.7 billion) project.

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The plant, which is located in Fengning county, in northern China’s Hebei province, will be able to store energy derived from renewables sources including wind.

According to the county government, the pumped storage power plant will be constructed in two stages. The CNY 9.98 billion first stage of the project, with a 1.8GW capacity, will be constructed over the next seven years.

The project is expected to be approved by State Council, the central government, at the end of August. Construction will start in September.

After Inner Mongolia, Hebei province has the second largest capacity in China. By the end of 2011, it had nearly 7GW of wind turbine installations. Hebei also hosts one of the eight 10GW-level wind power bases under construction in the country.

To date, grid access has become an obstacle to China’s wind power development. According to the China Wind Energy Associationn, in 2011 Chinese wind farms had to abandon 10 billion kW. That year around 4% of Hebei's wind turbines were curtailed that year.

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