Wind wire: Power base construction

Construction of a 12.7 GW wind power base has begun in Jiuquan, Gansu Province, in north-central China.

The site is planned to host 5.2 GW by the end of 2010 and another 7.6 GW by the end of 2015, with 5 GW approved for construction so far. Zhang Guobao of the National Energy Administration says wind plant development in China has been hampered by a lack of access to the grid caused by an imbalance between areas of wind energy supply and regions of high electricity demand, plus the unplanned development of wind power equipment manufacturers. "To settle these problems, China plans to construct 10 GW wind power bases, nicknamed the Three Gorges of Wind Power," says Zhang, referring to Three Gorges, China's largest hydropower station. This approach will allow China to harmoniously expand wind power capacity and the electricity grid in parallel, he says. Inner Mongolia, Hebei, northeast China, southeast China and eastern coastal areas have been prioritised for the construction of seven 10 GW wind farms. Production of turbines and components has also begun in an industrial park in Jiuquan. Fourteen Chinese manufacturers of turbines, blades and towers plan to build factories in the park. By 2015, the complex is expected to annually produce wind turbines with combined capacity of 1.5 GW.

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