Wind power in China: highest wind farm

A 49.5 megawatt (MW) wind farm was connected to the national power grid earlier this month on Dangjin Mountain, located 3,420 meters above sea level, in northwest China’s Gansu province.

The wind farm, operated by the China Huadian Group, a leading state-owned power company, is the highest grid-access wind power station in the country, according to Akesai county publicity officials.

The wind farm features 331.5-MW wind turbines built by China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Ltd. (CSR), an emerging wind turbine manufacturer, for high-altitude areas.

Construction on the wind farm began in December 2010 and lasted nine months, costing a total of 439 million yuan (69.7 million U.S. dollars). The farm is able to generate 98 million kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electric power annually, said Zhao Qiang, manager of the Dangjin Mountain Wind Farm.

The China Huadian Group has kicked off construction on an addition to the wind farm, with turbines able to generate another 49.5 MW of energy. It is scheduled to be completed and added to the power grid by the end of this year.

About 90 percent of China’s existing wind farms are located at elevations of less than 1,000 meters above sea level.

Chinese power companies are turning to high-altitude areas as the next arena of development for wind power, as rich wind resources on the country’s plains have already been exploited.

Leading wind power developers, including Huanang Renewables and Longyuan Power, have built wind farms on the plateaus of southwest China, located 2,000 meters above sea level.