Main structure of world’s 2nd largest hydro-power station in China to start operating July 1, 2021

The photo taken on May 28, 2021 shows the Baihetan Hydropower Station in Southwest China's Yunnan Province. Photo: CFP

Baihetan Hydropower Station, the world’s second largest after the Three Gorges Dam, is expected to have its last reservoir completed on Monday in Southwest China. 

The station, with a total installed capacity of 16 million kilowatts, is expected to generate more than 62 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which would reduce carbon dioxide emission by about 51.6 million tons, according to experts. 

The Baihetan station is located downstream of the Jinsha River, in the upper section of the Yangtze River, in Ningnan county of Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, and Qiaojia county in neighboring Yunnan Province. 

The construction of the main body of the station is expected to be finished on Monday. Its first unit is scheduled to start operations on July 1. The station will be in full operation by the end of 2022. 

The Baihetan hydropower station is the world’s first to have a power unit with a capacity of 1 million kilowatts with 111 revolutions per minute. The station is expected to be China’s second largest hydropower project after the Three Gorges Dam when completed.

The Three Gorges Dam, generated 103.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2020 as of Sunday morning, breaking the world record for annual power generation volume by a single hydropower station. 

When asked how the Baihetan station is compared with similar stations in other countries, Wang Xiaojun, an engineer of the project, told media that “there is no better station around the world.”

A video went viral on Sunday on China’s social media platforms. In the video, a coin stands firmly on a board, under which an operating unit of the Baihetan Hydropower Station is spinning at 111 revolutions per minute, but the coin did not fall down, showing the stability of the unit, Wang said. 

When asked if a coin would fall with the vibrations of the spinning generator as in plants overseas, Wang said that “the question is that other countries don’t have similar generating units.”

“We have done it with the highest level. When you look around, you find there are no other rivals,” he said, noting that the units are totally developed in the country.  

The video was liked by many Chinese netizens who said that it makes them feel proud of the country’s development in technology. 

Source: Global Times May 31, 2021

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