Experimental Project of UHV Grids Laid Foundation

China laid foundation for the experimental project of Ultra High Voltage (UHV) grids in the north, launching the country's first move to transmit power for a long distance through 1,000-kilovolt alternating grids.

At the breaking ground ceremony held in Changzhi city of North China's Shanxi Province on Saturday, Liu Zhenya, general manager of the State Grid Corporation, operator of the project, said that developing UHV grids is good for China to distribute its natural resources in a more proper way.

The project, wandering for 653.8 kilometers and running across China's Yellow River and the Hanjiang River, will transmit power produced in Shanxi Province, China's largest coal base to Nanyang city of Central China's Henan Province and then to Jingmen city of Central China's Hubei Province.

With a planned investment of 5.7 billion yuan (US$713 million), the grid is designed to have a rated voltage of 1,000-kv, a maximum operational voltage of 1,100 kv and a transmission power of 5 million kw.

Over two-thirds of China's water resources are distributed in West China's Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and the Tibet Autonomous Region, and over two-thirds of the coal resources are found in North China's Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces and the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region.

East and South China have the lowest reserves of energy and other natural resources. But as they boast the most rapid economic growth, they have the highest demand for energy.

Harboring alternating current at 1,000 kv or direct current at 800 kv, the UHV grids make the transmission of enough power over a long distance possible.

However, having no successful cases so far in the world, there have been heated discussions on whether to develop UHV grids.

Japan and Russia have both built 1,000-kv alternating power grids, but only for short-distance transmission.

The Chinese government finally gave admission to the experimental project to encourage the exploration for a way to feed the demand of energy-thirsty East and Central China by transmitting power from energy-rich West and North China.

Liu Zhaoshao, Chief Economist of the State Grid, told Xinhua earlier that if successful, the State Grid is also planning to build more UHV grids transmitting power from big coal-fired power or hydropower generators to electricity-thirsty regions from 2006 to 2010. They aim to construct a power grid which covers North and East China by 2020.

(Xinhua News Agency August 21, 2006)


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