The largest hybrid hydropower-photovoltaic facility in the world in Yalong River, China.

The largest hybrid hydropower-photovoltaic facility in the world in Yalong River, China.

Yalong Hydropower is constructing a 1 GW solar park on the Yalong River in southwestern China, which will be linked to an active 3 GW hydropower complex.

Yalong River Hydropower Development, a government hydropower company, has begun construction on the 1 GW Kela PV power station in Sichuan, China’s southwestern region.

The solar installation will be linked to the Yalong River’s functional 3 GW Lianghekou hydropower station. The new hybrid PV-hydropower complex, when completed, will become the world’s biggest power plant of its sort. The project’s hydroelectric component has an adaptable capacity of up to 6.56 billion cubic metres of water.

Yalong River Hydropower Development is spending CNY 5.3 billion ($791 million) in the solar complex, which will be built on a highlands between 4,000 and 4,600 metres above sea level. It will be linked to the hydropower facility via an existing 220 kV transmission line as well as a new 500 kV line.

More than 2 million solar panels and over 5,000 inverters will be installed at the solar project. The modules will be put at a height of 1.9 metres to allow vegetation to grow beneath them and to provide grazing area for cattle and sheep.

The solar power plant will be completed by the end of 2023, according to Yalong River Hydropower Development. The company proposes to construct 80 GW of renewable energy capacity in the Yalong River basin as the exclusive developer of energy infrastructure, comprising 40 GW of solar and wind power and 10 GW of pumped-hydro storage.

Yalong Hydropower is held jointly by the government-owned China Development and Investment Corp. and the Sichuan Investment Group, the provincial government’s major investment entity.

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