China to invest more on power tech

08:38, January 30, 2011      

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China plans to invest in further development of long-distance, high-capacity power transmission technology, aiming to bring more power from its remote western and northern regions to the energy-hungry east and south coasts.

State Grid Corp of China (SGCC), the country's leading power distributor, said in a company newspaper on Friday that it planned a pilot project for a 1,100 kilovolt (kV) direct-current power transmission line within five years.

It did not provide details of the project, saying only that it aimed to finish key technology research in one and a half years, and key equipment manufacturing in two years.

SGCC put an 800 kV direct-current line with a transmission capacity of 6.4 gigawatts (gW) into operation in July last year. That line carries electricity from hydropower-rich Sichuan Province to Shanghai, a distance of 1,907 kilometers (km).

It also started a 640 km, 1,000 kV alternating-current power line, the world's first, in early 2009, linking hydropower-rich Hubei and coal-abundant Shanxi, and plans to double its transmission capacity to 5 gW before the end of this year.

China Southern Power Grid Corp kicked off a 1,373 km, 800 kV direct-current power line with a capacity of 5 gW in the middle of 2010 that carries power from the hydropower-rich Guizhou and Yunnan provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region to the export hub of Guangdong province.

China is the only country in the world with plans to build large ultra-high voltage (UHV) power-line networks, with SGCC alone earmarking more than 500 billion yuan ($75.98 billion) to build 40,000 km of lines by 2015.

Industry objections to UHV power networks, citing concern over pollution, technological and economic viability, supply security and competition, have gradually subsided after the launches of large-scale construction of UHV lines in recent years.

Source: China Daily/Agencies
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