GE Vernova, Yangtze Power to Upgrade Hydropower Plant in China

birds-eye view of hydropower plant near body of water in China

(Credit: GE Vernova)

by | Aug 24, 2023

birds-eye view of hydropower plant near body of water in China

(Credit: GE Vernova)

Yangtze Power has selected GE Vernova to upgrade the Xiangjiaba Hydropower Plant by the first half of 2024. The upgrade will include designing, manufacturing, and installing three sets of main shaft air supply pipes, improving the overall efficiency of the hydropower plant.

The Xiangjiaba HydroPower Plant is the third largest of its kind in China, the world’s top producer of hydropower. It acts as a major energy source for western areas through East China, providing 6.4 gigawatts of energy to around 5 million people each year.

The site also prevents an estimated 12 million tons of carbon emissions every year through flood prevention, improved shipping conditions, and agriculture irrigation to the surrounding area. The new update should help the facility continue its work towards avoiding emissions and improve its performance in continuing to supply clean energy.

“This project builds on GE’s and Yangtze Power’s long-lasting relationship to unleash the potential of hydropower in China,” said Roberta Galli, hydropower services director at GE Vernova. “From pumped storage to services, China still has a huge potential to integrate more renewable and reliable energy into the grid and accelerate the energy transition in the country and beyond.”

Benefits of Hydropower, Its Role in China’s Clean Energy Efforts

The International Hydropower Association estimates that worldwide hydropower projects currently store up to 9,000-gigawatt hours of electricity, and they serve as an excellent way to store energy generated by solar, wind, and other clean energy sources.

GE Vernova’s hydropower turbines and generators comprise more than 25% of the world’s hydropower capacity, located at facilities such as the Xiangjiaba Hydropower Plant.

As the largest producer of hydroelectricity, China has more than quadrupled its installed hydropower capacity since the turn of the century. The country claims pumped storage hydropower as key to their clean energy transition, and they plan to generate 62 GW of power in 2025 and about 120 GW in 2030. In 2020, President Xi Jinping announced the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2060.

Despite China’s contributions to the growth of hydropower, the sector’s expansion is expected to slow down globally this decade without major policy changes.

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