China's Baihetan hydro generator unit operates safely for first 100 days, shows country's move toward clean energy
Published: Oct 07, 2021 10:50 PM
The Baihetan Dam opens to release water. Photo: Lin Xiaoyi/GT

The Baihetan Dam opens to release water. Photo: Lin Xiaoyi/GT

The No.14 hydro generator unit of China's Baihetan hydropower station, the world's first one-million kilowatt (kW) hydroelectric turbine generator developed by the Harbin Electric Machinery Company, has operated safely and steadily for 2,400 hours passing what the industry calls the "first 100 days test", according to a notice released by the company on Wednesday. 

Passing the test is not only a vivid proof that the technology, the manufacturing technique and the quality of the installation of the hydro generator unit have all reached world leading levels, but it also shows China's focus on clean power generation as the country strives to meet its carbon emission goals, experts said. 

Normally a new hydroelectric turbine generator would be set to run continuously for 100 days to check the unit's quality and production performance, the notice said. 

It also noted that the Harbin Electric Machinery Company has achieved two innovations in developing the unit. First, the capacity of the unit jumped from 800,000 kW to one million kW. Second, the design of the turbine uses long and short blades which helps to achieve stability and high efficiency at the same time. 

The No.14 hydroelectric turbine generator was installed in May and has produced 2.19 billion kilowatt-hours since it went into operation, according to the notice by the company. 

Besides, the use of hydroelectric power shows China's inclination to develop clean power generation capacity as the country tries to fulfill its carbon emissions peak goals in the next few years. According to the notice, the No.14 unit has saved 876,000 tons of coal and reduced CO2 emissions by 2.18 million tons. 

China has extended power restrictions to a number of provinces and regions recently partly due to the country's struggle to restrain high energy consuming industries. 

"China's electricity supply shortage is not very big but in this year, inflow of production orders as a result of the global pandemic has fueled power demand. Besides, the government is also restraining power supply to push high energy consumption companies to cut production," Han Xiaoping, chief analyst at energy industry website, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

According to Han, China will continue to restrain coal consumption to meet its carbon emissions goals in the long run.