A senior executive of the State Grid Corporation of China, China's top power grid operator, has revealed China's first experimental project of Ultra High Voltage (UHV) grids has been authorized by the Chinese government.
Liu Zhaoshao, Chief Economist of the State Grid, said at a forum on strategic development and investment of energy that the project is in the preliminary preparation phase.
The project will transmit power from the southeast area of North China's Shanxi Province to Nanyang city of Central China's Henan Province and then to Jingmen city of Central China's Hubei Province.
Liu said that the total length of the UHV line will be 654 kilometers and the investment is expected to be "large".
The State Grid will carry out the construction and major technology will be self-innovated, said Liu.
Over two-thirds of China's water resources are distributed in West China's Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and the Tibet Autonomous Region, and over two-thirds of the coal resources are found in North China's Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces and Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region.
East and South China have the lowest reserves of energy and other natural resources. But as they boast the most rapid economic growth, they have the highest demand for energy.
The UHV grids will harbor power at 800 kilovolts compared to the 500 kvs of an ordinary power grid.
The ordinary power grid is incapable of transmitting enough power over a long distance, Shu Yinbiao, Vice President of the State Grid said.
However, there have been heated discussions on whether to develop UHV grids as there have been no successful cases so far in the world.
Japan and Russia have both built 1,000-kv alternating power grids, but only for short-distance transmission.
According to Liu, the State Grid is also planning to build more UHV grids transmitting power from big coal-fired power or hydropower generators to electricity-thirsty regions from 2006 to 2010. They aim to construct a power grid which covers North and East China by 2020.
(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2006)