2.1 million kilowatts! Construction of world's highest-altitude pumped-storage power station kicks off in SW China’s Sichuan
Published: Jan 12, 2024 01:45 PM
Photo: Courtesy of PowerChina Chengdu Engineering Corporation Limited

Photo: Courtesy of PowerChina Chengdu Engineering Corporation Limited

Construction of the world's highest-altitude pumped-storage power station kicks off Thursday in Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

With an altitude of 4,300 meters, the facility is located in Daofu county in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, according to the PowerChina Chengdu Engineering Corporation Limited, the operator of the project.

The station is designed with a total installed capacity of 2.1 million kilowatts and an annual power generation of 2.994 billion kilowatt-hours. It is the largest pumped storage project in Sichuan and a landmark project as part of the integrated development of water and scenic resources in the Yalong River basin, according to the company.

It is the second highest pumped storage power station in China in terms of operating head with a maximum head of 760.7 meters, the company said.

Pumped-storage power stations use off-peak electricity to pump water to higher locations, where it is stored and then released to generate electricity when the power supply is strained. They can complement wind and solar power generation, which leads to bigger fluctuations across the grid.

The Daofu pumped-storage power station is equipped with six reversible units with a capacity of 350,000 kilowatts each, and consists of upper reservoir, lower reservoir, water conveyance system, underground powerhouse system, and surface switchyard.

Often compared to a "giant power bank," it can store 12.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per day, which can meet the daily electricity demand of two million households, according to the company.

Yu Chuntao, director of the Daofu project from the company, told the Global Times that "at present, there is a lack of experience that can be used for reference in the construction of large-scale pumped storage projects in high-altitude areas. The design, construction, and electrical equipment manufacturing of the Daofu project are highly exploratory and challenging."

Many breakthrough results achieved in the design and construction of the Daofu project will greatly advance the design and manufacturing of major equipment for pumped-storage power stations in China, according to Yu.

The construction of the Daofu project, once completed, is of great significance for enhancing the power supply guarantee capacity, promoting the scientific and efficient development and utilization of new energy, building a world-class clean energy demonstration base, and promoting high-quality economic and social development in the local area.

At present, the highest-altitude pumped-storage power station in the world is the Yamzho Yumco Lake pumped-storage power station in Southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region, situated at an altitude of about 3,600 meters, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Global Times