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Beijing. A Chinese state-owned company has reportedly connected the world’s largest solar plant to the grid. The five gigawatt (GW), 200,000-hectare solar park was put into operation on Monday in a desert area in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, according to a statement on the website of the State Administration of Assets Supervision, citing the Power Construction Corp of China.

The plant near the regional capital of Urumqi is expected to generate around 6.09 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year. That would be enough to supply the Pacific island state of Papua New Guinea with electricity for a year.

The two largest solar parks in operation to date are also already located in western China: the Ningxia Tenggeli desert solar project of the Longyuan Power Group and the Golmud Wutumeiren solar complex of China Lüfa Qinghai New Energy each have a capacity of three gigawatts. The sparsely populated Xinjiang region has become an important location for large-scale renewable energy plants. Much of the electricity generated there is supplied over long distances to China’s densely populated east coast.

First publication: 03.06.2024, 12:44 pm.

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