A view of the construction site of Maerdang hydropower station in Maqen county, Qinghai province, in July. [MA MINGYAN/CHINA NEWS SERVICE]
Maerdang hydropower station, the highest-altitude facility of its kind on the upper reaches of the Yellow River, is currently under construction and is expected to begin operations in March 2024, said its operator China Energy Investment Corp, also known as China Energy.
Located at 5,000 meters above sea level along the Yellow River in Qinghai province, the station — with a total installed capacity of 2.2 million kilowatts — is expected to generate an average of more than 7.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year once becoming fully operational, cutting 2.56 million metric tons of standard coal equivalent consumption and 8.16 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, it said.
The project is also the company's first integrated clean energy facility to include hydropower, solar power and energy storage. It will take better advantage of the abundant clean energy in the western parts of China while benefiting the energy-hungry eastern regions, the company said.
Li Hongxin, deputy director of Qinghai Maerdang Co Ltd, a unit of China Energy, said the project is almost completed. The company vows to make sure the project is put into operation in time despite COVID-19 impacts during the past few years.