Across China: Smart photovoltaic base revitalizes NW China's barren lands

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 15, 2024
Adjust font size:

YINCHUAN, May 15 (Xinhua) -- In Lingwu City, nestled in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, lies a vast expanse of 3.7 million closely aligned photovoltaic panels, gleaming under the sun, creating a mesmerizing display amidst the otherwise desolate landscape.

These photovoltaic panels are part of the CHN Energy Ningdong 2-million-kilowatt compound photovoltaic base. Ma Jianbao, a technician from a branch of Ningxia Power Co., Ltd. under CHN Energy, conducts daily checks with his team using unmanned aerial vehicles in the control center in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia, which is some 100 km away.

"Drones patrol predetermined routes, relaying real-time images of the base. In just 30 minutes, a comprehensive report is generated with a fault recognition accuracy of up to 90 percent, significantly enhancing inspection efficiency," Ma said.

Ningxia's favorable terrain, robust power grid, and stable output have made it a vital hub for China's west-to-east power transmission program, supplying electricity to over 10 provinces including Shandong and Zhejiang.

Lingwu is rich in coal resources. Over the years, some coal mining areas have been left behind by mining activities in the city. The photovoltaic base spanning nearly 60,000 mu (about 4,000 hectares) has utilized the barren hills and slopes that feature mining-subsidence and goaf areas, infusing them with new vitality.

Equipped with an integrated intelligent management platform, the base uses cutting-edge technologies such as intelligent cleaning, inspection and geological subsidence monitoring to drive the smart and digital evolution of the new energy photovoltaic industry.

"Previously, a power station of this magnitude would require a workforce exceeding 150 for safe operation and maintenance. Now, with seven drones working at the same time, a complete base inspection can be completed in only three weeks," Ma said.

Rows of panels in the photovoltaic base are being cleaned by an unmanned intelligent robot, leaving them shining brightly.

"As Ningxia is surrounded by deserts on three sides, our panels frequently accumulate sand and dust, diminishing their efficiency. To solve this problem, we've developed this unmanned cleaning robot," said Zhang Lei, deputy director of the Ningdong photovoltaic power station.

"Leveraging big data, cloud computing and 5G+, the base achieves intelligent operation and maintenance, driving the creation of new quality productive forces tailored to the region's needs," he added.

In line with the carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals of the country, China's photovoltaic industry also champions sustainability and green development.

Underscoring the ecological benefits of the 2-million-kilowatt base, Zhang said that the base generates approximately 3.7 billion kilowatt-hours of green electricity for Zhejiang annually, which is equivalent to saving about 1.15 million tonnes of standard coal and reducing some 3.15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission.

Located over 20 km away from the base, the Ningdong power plant of the Ningxia Power Co., Ltd., CHN Energy, has transformed former mining pools into a photovoltaic power station. Xue Xiaowen, who works at the power plant, explained the environmental benefits, such as reduced freshwater evaporation and flourishing aquatic life in the area.

"Previously, we released some fish fry to test whether the water quality had improved. Now that the fish have grown, the area has attracted many waterfowl, including wild ducks, as well as nationally protected animals," Xue said.

Ningxia's new energy installed capacity surpassed 36 million kilowatts by the end of 2023. Enditem

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from