China Three Gorges Corp, the builder and operator of the world's biggest hydroelectric power project－the Three Gorges Dam－has been stepping up the construction of its key domestic projects to support the resumption of operations, amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Baihetan Hydropower Station, the world's second-largest hydropower project located on the border of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, has been under construction while under epidemic control. While some of the projects are behind schedule compared with the previous quarter, the corporation is planning to further optimize work procedures and allocate more resources to ensure that the annual targets are achieved for the hydropower station project. The project is expected to be completed by 2022.
Its Wudongde Hydropower Station, the fourth-biggest domestic hydropower station and the world's seventh-largest, is also under construction with the use of cutting-edge intelligent technologies, including real-time temperature monitoring and intelligent grouting equipment.
It is dubbed the "smartest" mega hydropower station in the world with the highest level of intelligent construction in China's dam industry, including thermometers and cooling pipes in the concrete to detect the concrete temperature in real time and the intelligent water flow system to automatically adjust the flow to realize the cooling process of concrete in an intelligent way. The hydropower station is expected to see its first batch of generator sets put into production in July and be able to generate 38.9 billion kilowatts of electricity every year after its 12 generating units start operation.
Xiluodu Hydropower Station and Xiangjiaba Hydropower Station, together with Baihetan and Wudongde hydropower stations, will form a cascade of power stations on the Jinsha River, a cluster that is expected to reach an installed capacity of 46.46 million kilowatts, equivalent to twice the output of the Three Gorges Dam in the middle reaches of the Yangtze, and will generate about 190 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.
The Three Gorges Reservoir in Central China's Hubei province has also raised its discharge volume to ensure water and power supply as the outbreak has affected coal reserves and coal-fired power generation in the province.
Industry insiders say they believe the corporation plays a vital role in ensuring power supply in the fight against the outbreak.
Efforts of the State-owned energy companies can ensure that power supply plays a vital role in the combat against the outbreak, said Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University.
The average flow of the Yangtze River in Yichang, where the reservoir is located, was recorded at 8,240 cubic meters per second in January, said the company. It is up nearly 70 percent from the average levels seen in the previous years.
According to the Yangtze River Water Resources Committee, the average inbound flow at the reservoir in January reached 5,850 cubic meters per second, while the outbound flow reached 7,850 cubic meters per second, meaning the discharge volume reached 2,000 cubic meters per second in the month. The reservoir will maintain an outbound flow of approximately 7,000 cubic meters per second in early February.
The increased discharge ensured the water and power supply in the downstream areas and also met the shipping demand during the drought season, it said.