Big player gets more project rights -- Plans for 1600 MW

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China's biggest wind energy player, the Longyuan Electric Power Group, is to develop 1600 MW of wind plant in Weichang, Hebei Province, following an agreement with the Weichang county government. The first 500 MW is to be completed by the end of 2011. Located north of Beijing and on the border with Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Weichang is rich in wind resources. Longyuan initially plans to commission 50 MW in 2007, 100 MW in each of the following three years, and 150 MW in 2011. No firm timetable has been confirmed for the remaining 1100 MW.

Meanwhile, the company has kicked off the first phase of construction on its share of the 400 MW Tongyu wind farm, one of China's state concession projects issued for tender in 2004 by the National Development and Reform Commission. Longyuan is building half of the plant, located in Tongyu county, Jilin Province in Northeast China. China Huaneng Group, one of the country's leading power companies, is building the remaining 200 MW.

For the 100 MW first phase of the Tongyu project, Longyuan is using 118 Gamesa 850 kW turbines. The first 20 MW is to be online by the end of this year and 80 MW in 2007. The remaining 100 MW of Longyuan's share of the project is scheduled for development once the grid network is expanded. A new 120 kilometre power line is planned to connect the wind farm to the electricity network. Longyuan says it will decide the turbine supplier for the second phase once discussions about the new grid connection are complete with the NDRC.

Huaneng is expected to announce the turbine supplier for its 200 MW share soon. Commissioning is scheduled for 2007. Originally planned to be just 100 MW, Longyuan and Huaneng were the only bidders for Tongyu, quoting almost equal prices to get power online at around CNY 0.51/kWh ($0.062/kWh). The authorities opted to expand the project because of the good wind resources and to make the most of investment in the new power line.

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