Chinese island to supply mainland

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The local government of China's southernmost province, Hainan, has announced plans to build a 300 MW wind plant. It is now inviting potential developers to tender for the project. "A number of companies have contacted us and expressed interest in the project," says the Hainan Provincial Office for Trade and Investment Promotion.

The project is estimated to cost around CNY 1.8 billion ($217.5 million), with about 80% of that to spent on hardware. The government is encouraging the use of "technologically matured domestic turbines" in the belief this will keep costs down. A site is yet to be selected, but the development may be at different sites and carried out in phases if need be.

With Hainan's grid system soon to merge into the China Southern Power Grid, the provincial government hopes the wind station will supply the needs of the large island of Hainan, with any surplus electricity transmitted to neighbouring Guangdong province on the mainland.

Although only one wind farm has so far been developed in Hainan -- the 8.75 MW Dongfang Wind Farm built in 1985 -- the subtropical island has a rich wind resource. A 1978 study by the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences projects Hainan's wind power potential at 239.82 kW a square meter, ranking it 17th among China's provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. In comparison, the neighbouring Guangdong province, a pioneer in China's wind energy exploitation, was ranked in 23rd place.

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