Discover the second largest hydroelectric power station in the world, which is now in operation


China launched two of the 16 production units at the Baihetan hydropower plant on Monday. It is the second largest hydroelectric power station in the world behind the Three Gorges Dam in China. The two 1-gigawatt units began producing full power today.

The $ 34 billion (220 billion yuan), 948 feet (289 meters) high Baihetan hydropower plant is located on the upper part of the Yangtze River, the longest river in the country, on the border between the southwestern provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan.

The China Three Gorges Corporation built the Baihetan in four years. The 16 units are expected to be fully operational by July 2022 and will generate around 62.4 billion kWh of electricity per year.

Video: The Independent Singapore

Reuters notes:

An ultra-high voltage (UHV) power transmission line connecting Baihetan to eastern Jiangsu province began construction in late 2020 and is expected to be launched in 2022. Another UHV from Baihetan to Zhejiang province, also in the east China awaits Beijing approval.

In its latest five-year plan covering the period 2021-2025, Sichuan Province aims to complete the project to build 10 hydropower plants and start building seven more.

China is working to replace coal with cleaner forms of energy to meet the high demand for electricity, and hydropower plays an important role in that plan.

But environmental groups have expressed concern that the massive dam has caused damage to natural floodplains and habitats.

Taking Electek

“Yeah, but”… China is the world’s biggest polluter. The United States has sanctioned Chinese solar companies for Uyghur human rights violations. China’s net zero maturity is 10 years after the Paris Agreement. China continues to build coal plants like crazy, inside and outside its borders.

It is all true. And all the more reason to be happy that China has launched this hydroelectric power station. That’s a huge amount of clean energy that is expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 51.6 million tonnes, and everyone, not just China, is benefiting.

We at Electrek sometimes receive emails accusing us of being Sinophiles. We are pro-electric vehicle, pro-clean energy. And we will not participate in sinophobia.

Read more: Check out this cool underwater robot that inspects hydroelectric turbines

Photo: cnsphoto via Reuters

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