China marks the beginning of the New Year with a monumental stride in renewable energy by inaugurating the world’s largest ultra-high-altitude wind farm. Situated in Nagqu town, Xizang Autonomous Region, at an elevation of 15,256 feet, this 25-turbine project is a testament to China’s commitment to reducing fossil fuel consumption.
China, renowned for its colossal hydro-solar farm, which has been operational since the previous year, continues to lead in green energy initiatives. The hydro-solar farm in Sichuan province operates at high altitudes, preserving 600,000 tonnes of coal annually. Building on this success, China now introduces the world’s largest ultra-high altitude wind farm, leveraging expertise gained from constructing in challenging environments.
China Energy Investment Corporation defines an ultra-high altitude wind farm as one situated between 11,480 and 18,000 feet. This visionary project aligns with China’s ambitious goal of reducing fossil fuel consumption by more than 80% by 2060.
The project’s location, while presenting unprecedented challenges, prompted innovative solutions. Facing issues such as low wind energy conversion efficiency and turbine blade deceleration, developers implemented a smart wind power platform. This platform facilitated accurate wind measurements and site selection, influencing the farm’s design.
Covering 1.5 million square feet, housing 25 turbines with a 100-megawatt capacity, the wind farm annually meets the energy needs of 230,000 Nagqu City residents, emission-free. Notably, the project serves as a test bed for future ventures, emphasizing the need for high-quality turbines to withstand harsh high-altitude conditions.
Acknowledging environmental elements like wind, sand, rain, snow, and temperature variations, the project employed stability control technology. Additionally, a specialized technique to spray paint turbine blades prevents excessive dryness, minimizing erosion risks. The farm personnel highlighted the importance of “stability control technology” in enhancing wind conversion efficiency.
Beyond its immediate impact, this ultra-high altitude wind farm signifies a step towards greener energy sources globally. China, historically reliant on coal, explores alternative energy avenues like nuclear power during wind and solar power generation lulls. The project’s successful operationalization on the New Year sets a promising precedent for sustainable energy initiatives on a larger scale.