Impressing people with its sweet seedless grapes, the Turpan Basin in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is expected to become a major wind power generator in the country soon.
China Huadian Corporation, a national power generating business group, will spend 15 billion yuan (US$1.87 billion) on building wind power projects with a combined installed capacity of two million kilowatts in the Xiaocaohu area in Turpan Basin.
This will be the largest wind power project ever built in China, said Yang Ming, deputy general manager of the Xinjiang subsidiary of China Huadian Corporation.
Xiaohuqu is one of the nine major places in Xinjiang which boasts rich wind power. The reserve of wind power is estimated to be one billion kilowatt-hours per year in an area of 1,000 sq km, where wind power plants with a combined capacity of two million kilowatts can be built.
China ranks the first in the world by boasting 253 million kilowatts of wind power on land. Xinjiang accounts for 37 percent of the country's total and second only to Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in North China, said Shi Yuguang, director of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Meteorological Station.
Fast economic growth has brought China under the pressure for resources and environmental protection. China's Law on Renewable Energy took effect January 1 this year, stressing development and utilization of solar energy and wind power.
Xinjiang's installed capacity of wind power plants had reached 180,000 kilowatts by the end of last year, or 23 percent of the national total.
(Xinhua News Agency April 14, 2006)