Construction started Saturday on China's first 10 million-kw wind power station in the far northwestern city of Jiuquan in Gansu Province.
China's wind power industry was entering a new stage, said Zhang Guobao, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission and head of the National Energy Administration, at the groundbreaking ceremony.
After years of growth, China's wind power installation ranked fourth in the world and subsidiary equipment manufacturing had turned into a booming industry, Zhang said.
But China's wind power sector was dampened by distribution imbalances between resources and markets, difficulties in connecting wind power to power grids and construction policies that produced stations of only small generation capacity, he said.
To solve the problems, the government decided to build the 10 million-kw-level wind power station, a "Three Gorges in the Air", to maximize wind power efficiency through large-scale construction and transmission, Zhang said.
With a 120 billion yuan (17.57 billion U.S. dollars) investment, the station was designed to have an installed capacity of 5.16 million kw by the end of 2010 and 12.71 million kw by the end of 2015. It will be China's largest wind power facility upon completion.
China's installed wind power capacity topped 12.17 million kw at the end of last year, fourth in the world behind the United States, Germany and Spain.