China’s north-western province of Shaanxi has given the green light to a batch of new wind power projects in an area that’s fast emerging as one of the country’s inland clean energy hubs.
The People’s Daily reports that Shaanxi’s development and reform commission has given the go-ahead to a pair of 100-megawatt (MW) wind power projects in Dingbian county mooted for development by the Huaneng Dingbian New Energy Power Company (华能定边新能源发电有限公司).
Each of the projects will see the installation of fifty 2 MW wind turbines, and involve a combined investment amount of approximately 1.759 billion yuan (~$280 million).
Another project which the provincial government has approved is Guodian Shaanxi New Energy Co,. Ltd’s (国电陕西新能源有限公司) Liang Jitai wind farm situated in nearby Jingbian county, which will involve the installation of twenty-five 2 MW wind turbines for total installed capacity of 50 MW. The total investment sum for the Liang Jitai wind farm is expected to be approximately 412 million yuan ($65.75).
Dingbian county and Jingbian county are both situated in the western part of landlocked Shaanxi province, a region which is rapidly emerging as a key inland hub for the development of wind farms by China’s energy giants as a result of its highly suitable climate conditions.
According to a spokesperson from State Grid Shaanxi Electric Power the western part of Shaanxi province, and the counties of Dingbian and Jingbian in particular, are highly amenable to the development of wind farms due to the rapid air currents produced by a regional geography of sandy deserts and loess plateaus.
In addition to Huaneng and Guodian, other major energy companies that have already established footholds in the region include Inner Mongolia Gulu Wind Power Co., Ltd. and China Longyuan Power, which currently has multiple wind power projects under development.
The development of wind power in western Shaanxi province also possesses the added advantage of closer proximity to highly populous cities in central China, as compared to more remote areas suited to wind power development in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.
The approvals arrive just as wind power makes major strides in other parts of northern China. In Shaanxi’s neighbouring province of Shanxi, wind power has recently emerged as the second biggest power source after thermal power plants, making record-breaking contributions to the provincial grid towards the end of January.
Image Credit: wind turbines in China, via Shutterstock