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11/05/2012 10:26 AM     print story email story  

China Approves 1.4 Gigawatt 'Three Gorges' Wind Farm News

China has given the go-ahead for the wind energy counterpart of its massive Three Gorges dam, the world's largest. The 1.4 gigawatt (GW) wind farm in Inner Mongolia will be the largest in the country so far. 

Each of seven wind farms that comprise the project will be built by different developers - Huadian, Guodian, Huaneng, Longyuan, CPI, Beijing Jingneng New Energy and Xiehe Wind Power - at a total cost of $2.18 billion.

Construction should be finished by the end of next year.

As of 2011, Inner Mongolia had 17.6 GW of wind, providing 13.8% of the city of Baotou's electricity. Another 10 GW of wind is planned for the area.

Baotou is the largest city in Inner Mongolia with about 2.3 million residents. 

The Chinese wind industry has been languishing waiting for the transmission infrastructure to connect projects already built. 

State Grid Corporation of China says the country will have a "unified national grid" for the first time when it finishes a $400 billion build-out by 2016.

Under its five year plan, China plans to spend another $473 billion to construct 15 gigawatts (GW) of solar and 100 GW of wind.

On the solar side, in 2011 First Solar signed a memorandum of understanding with China Guangdong Nuclear Solar Energy Development Co. to build an enormous 2 GW solar plant in  Inner Mongolia.

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