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Suntech will develop one of the highest solar photovoltaic installations on earth in the Chek Kang village in Sangri County located in the Shannan Prefecture of Tibet. At approximately 4,000 meters above sea level the 10MW solar installation will provide solar electricity for the thousands of residents of the Tibetan Plateau.
In the past the mountainous region of Tibet has relied on hydroelectric resources for much of its base load power production, yet shifting weather patterns in recent years have caused more frequent droughts and reduced water volumes in hydroelectric reservoirs. Suntech’s 10MW solar power plant will bridge the gaps created by these potential peak power shortages; working alongside the existing hydroelectric resources.
"With intense sunlight and cool temperatures, Tibet is extremely well-suited for the utilization of advanced photovoltaic technology," said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's founder, chairman and CEO. "We're proud to invest in preserving the region's fragile ecosystem by providing an economically-viable and sustainable solution for electricity generation. From the desert sands of Arizona to the peaks of the Himalayas, anyone can look up and harness nature's cleanest and most abundant energy resource."
"As we approach grid parity, we're seeing a groundswell of appetite for multi-megawatt projects in Asia and emerging markets around the world. I'm confident that China will really turn some heads this year and perhaps even become a gigawatt market," said Dr. Zhengrong Shi. "In this exciting transitional period, we will continue to diversify our global footprint to drive solar industry growth everywhere under the sun."
To date Suntech has donated more than fifty independent solar systems for schools, community centers, and houses throughout Tibet. Back in 2008, Suntech also installed a solar system at the Mount Everest base camp to provide mountaineers with solar power.
Suntech aims to complete the Chek Kang village installation, which is expected to generate around 20,000MWh a year, by the middle of 2011.