China

China

Challenges ahead for 'world's largest' wind farm

Curtailment could affect the profitability of State Power Investment Corporation's (Spic's) planned 6GW wind farm in Inner Mongolia, an analyst has told Windpower Monthly.

Spic also owns the 850MW Mohe project, which it claims is China's current largest onshore wind farm
Spic also owns the 850MW Mohe project, which it claims is China's current largest onshore wind farm

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Spic received planning approval for the Ulanqab Wind Power Base would be spread across a 3,800km2 area in the north of China, close to the border with Mongolia, at the end of 2018.

If built, it would be the largest onshore wind farm in the world, Spic stated.

It would deliver 18.9TWh a year to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei power market to the south, Spic predicted, following an investment of CNY 46.54 billion (US$ 6.78 billion).

It plans to build the project without subisidy and only receive the market price of thermal power generation in Ulanqab.

In 2018 coal-fired power generation was priced at CNY 282.9/MWh ($41.26/MWh), but this could fluctuate by the time the project is operational.

Spic did not confirm when the project would be completed, but stated that it would help power the 2022 Winter Olympic Games that are due to be hosted in Beijing.

It received approval from Ulanqab Municipal Development and Reform Commission on 29 December 2018.

Xiaoyang Li, a senior analyst at consultancy Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables’ (formerly Make Consulting) Asia Pacific team, told Windpower Monthly she expected Spic to develop the project in several phases.

But the developer could face several challenges completing the project, she added. 

Li said: "The challenge could be the potential curtailment due to limited transmission space and a saturated Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei power market.

"If curtailment can’t be solved, the profitability of the projects will be a concern."

She added that because the project is still at a very preliminary stage, it is difficult to predict when it could be completed. 

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) had halted project approvals for new wind power projects in six northern regions — including Inner Mongolia — in April 2016, due to high curtailment levels.

However, Spic received preliminary approval in March 2018 after the Chinese government ended the hiatus on wind power construction in Inner Mongolia.

The developer will now seek to secure grid transmission.

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