China commissions 5GW solar project, world’s largest

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
gcl new energy
The new project will meet more than a quarter of the annual electricity demand of Los Angeles. Image: GCL New Energy

China has commissioned the world’s largest solar project, a massive 5GW facility in the north-west of the Xinjiang region.

The huge project will cover 200,000 acres, and has been built in a desert area of Ürümqi, the regional capital, by the state-owned Ürümqi Zhonglvdian New Energy Co Ltd. The facility is expected to produce around 6,090GWh of electricity annually, enough to meet more than a quarter of the annual energy demand of Los Angeles, according to the city government.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

With this project, China now holds the three largest solar projects in the world by capacity, with the Ningxia Tenggeli and Golmud Wutumeiren projects already in operation, and each boasting a capacity of 3GW.

When asked about the project, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analyst Jenny Chase told PV Tech that the project is likely part of China’s ‘megabase’ programme, an initiative to instal 455GW of new solar and wind capacity in remote areas, such as wastelands and deserts.

“The first batch of 97GW of solar and wind megabase projects were supposed to be commissioned by the end of 2023, so this is probably part of the second batch, which includes at least 23.4GW of PV as tracked by BNEF last year,” said Chase, referring to figures from BNEF. “China aims for 200GW of megabase projects before the end of 2025 and another 255GW between 2026 and 2030, the period of the 15th Five-Year Plan.”

However, Chase also noted that a limiting factor for these megabase projects is “grid capacity for interprovince electricity transfer,” with a lack of grid capacity an ongoing challenge for many solar projects. Elisabeth Cremona, an energy and climate data analyst at Ember Climate, told PV Tech Premium last week that there can be “no energy transition without transmission”.

China’s dominance of the global solar sector is nothing new, but the rate of growth in the sector remains impressive; earlier this year, China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) reported that China added 45.7GW of new capacity in the first quarter of the year, up from 33.6GW in the first quarter of 2023, and this latest project addition will only further this growth.

The news follows a number of investments made into considerably large-scale solar projects around the world, headlined by the ongoing work at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the UAE. The project currently has 2.6GW of capacity in operation, and reached financial close on a deal to add a further 1.8GW of new capacity earlier this year; should this capacity be realised, the project will become the world’s second-largest solar project by capacity.

PV Tech publisher Solar Media will be organising the Solar Finance & Investment Asia Summit in Singapore, 24-25 September. The event will bring together the most influential leaders representing funds, banks, developers, utilities, government and industry across the Asia-Pacific region on a programme that is solutions-focused from top to tail. More information, including how to attend, can be read here.

27 June 2024
9am BST
FREE WEBINAR -This special webinar will take a deep dive into the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings pyramid, capturing the relative bankability status of the top 70-80 PV module suppliers globally. In addition to revealing the latest ranking of global PV module suppliers, PV Tech’s Head of Research, Finlay Colville, will show the depth of analysis and commentary included within the report for module suppliers. A key output from the webinar will be to learn which PV module suppliers have moved up the rankings pyramid in recent years and why this growth has been achieved. Conversely, some of the companies that have fallen down the rankings will be discussed, in particular those suffering from market-share losses and financial problems.

Read Next

June 11, 2024
The Sun Investment Group (SIG) has secured a debt facility to support its development of 1.97GW of new solar capacity in Poland.
June 11, 2024
Release by Scatec has unveiled plans to add 28.6MW of solar capacity and 19.2MWh of battery energy storage systems to its Cameroon portfolio.
June 11, 2024
China’s surge is not just a ripple but a tidal wave, with over US$450 billion in surplus factory investment threatening to flood the market over the next three years.
June 11, 2024
JA Solar tops the list with the score of 82.9 out of 100, followed by Trina Solar (81.7), JinkoSolar (80.8) and Canadian Solar (78.5).
June 7, 2024
Chinese solar manufacturing giant LONGi Green Energy has addressed rumours it is planning to shut down production at its facilities in Southeast Asia in response to US import tariffs coming into force.
June 6, 2024
Investment in solar PV is expected to surpass all other generation technologies combined with over US$500 billion, according to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia