Thursday, June 16, 2005

Wind Energy China: One Gigawatt Wind Power Plant Largest in China

The China Education and Research Network reports a 1,000 megawatt (one gigawatt) wind power plant, currently the largest in China, has been initiated in Anxi County of northwest China's Gansu Province.

With an investment of USD $967 million (RMB eight billion yuan), the project will play an important role in the development of new and clean energy resources and easing the power shortages in the eastern and western areas.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, I have a quick question. First let me say that I love you site. My question is when you say this plant generates one gigawatt of power over what time period is that? A day? A year? Thanks and keep up with the great work.

12:43 am, June 17, 2005  
Blogger James said...

Andrew glad you like the site.

As I understand it one gigawatt refers to the maximum output of the power plant (rated capacity), but I'm no technical expert.

Perhaps an analogy would be the top speed of a car. To say a car has a top speed of 140mph tells us the maximum speed it can be driven. It does not tell us however the average speed it will be driven at or how often it will be driven.

Most modern wind farms average production is between 33% to 45% of its rated capacity.

This article may be of use:

Alternative Energy Blog

6:06 am, June 17, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew, the term for this is the "capacity factor" of the power plant. Nuclear and Coal currently have the highest capacity factor of any power source, because they can essentially produce at full rated capacity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (They don't actually do this, so their capacity factor tends to be in the 85%-90% range, according to the estimates I've seen.)

7:38 am, June 17, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a bit confused by the word "initiated." Does this mean the power plant is actually online and operational, or has the project just started (i.e. been initiated)?

I would assume that a 1GW plant would require a very large number of turbines, so you would think we would have heard of this before (hence my confusion).

1:52 pm, June 17, 2005  
Blogger stomv said...

^ at least 500-600 turbines, since it's rare to find one that puts out more than 1.8 MW. 1.5 MW turbines are far more common, which would require closer to 700 turbines.

1:05 pm, June 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to see an actual, large wind power plant in operation! Now if the U.S. would just get on the bandwagon . . . .

2:49 am, June 22, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I firmly agree that there should be more wind plants (especially where I live- Merritt, B.C. Canada.)We have a lot of wind.
I currently have a 4- panel solar system (swiss Solartec) producing hot water and heating systems and 3- more systems up and running elswhere.

7:35 pm, July 13, 2005  
Blogger J Wheeler said...

A 1 GW wind plant would mean 1GW of rated capacity, not the amount of power it would deliver to the grid.

Because of variations in wind energy supply and mechanical breakdowns, wind power stations rarely operate at rated capacity. For example, in the USA the average capacity factor of wind power stations is ~40% reference:

So this plant will provide, on average, about 400 MW of electricity to the grid.

John Wheeler
"This Week in Nuclear"

1:47 pm, November 22, 2006  

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