Baihetan Hydropower Station set to help with China’s carbon goal
Published: Apr 07, 2021 10:22 PM
Baihetan Hydropower Station

Baihetan Hydropower Station  Photo: VCG

The Baihetan Hydropower Station has officially started storing water as the gate of number two diversion bottom hole closed on April 6, meaning the world's largest hydropower project under construction has taken a critical step toward the goal for the first batch of hydropower units to start generating electricity on July 1. 

With the closing of the gate, the reservoir water level began to rise from 655 meters, according to a statement from Sinohydro Engineering Bureau 8 Co, adding that the reservoir water level will be stored to 775 meters in mid-June to meet the conditions for the first batch of hydropower-generating units to start operation. From August to September, the reservoir water will be stored to 800 meters, and then gradually stored to the normal storage level of 825 meters in June 2022.

The total storage capacity of Baihetan Reservoir will be 20.627 billion cubic meters, which accounts for 91 percent of the Jinsha River Basin. The flood control reservoir is an important part of the Yangtze River flood control system, which has a capacity of 7.5 billion cubic meters. Only the Three Gorges Dam and Danjiangkou Reservoir are larger. 

The total installed capacity of the power station ranks second in the world, at 16 million kilowatts. The single-unit capacity ranks first in the world at 1 million kilowatts. The new power source will help China reach its carbon emissions targets.  

The Baihetan Hydropower Station is the backbone of China's west-to-east transmission program, an important part of the flood control system in the Yangtze River basin, and a landmark project in the development of the global hydropower industry.