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China's Largest Solar Power Station Operates
Over 3,000 farmers and herdsmen cheered as the country's largest solar power station began operation in a pasture inhabited by people of the Kazak nationality in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China.

The 150 kw solar power station, which became operational Wednesday, is located in the Beitashan Livestock Farm under the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, which borders Mongolia in the northeast and covers an area of more than 2,000 km.

The farm, set up in 1952, has over 600 households with population exceeding 3,000, and 90 percent of the population belong to the Kazak nationality.

Because of complicated topographical conditions, the remote livestock farm has no electricity facilities in its history of 51 years, except a small diesel generator. Some 90 percent of the pasture area receives no TV signal, and operations for patients were often delayed due to shortage of power. The farm has been listed among the country's most electricity-thirsty farms.

However, great changes have taken place since March 2002 when the country launched a massive project to supply power to the remote regions in the western provinces and autonomous regions.

And some 28 remote farms and pastures under the jurisdiction of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, as well as 48 remote villages in the region have benefited from the project, which cost 120 million yuan (14.5 million US dollars).

The Beitashan Livestock Farm is one of the beneficiaries. From June to September this year, the Xinjiang New Energy Co. Ltd has helped the Beitashan Livestock Farm set up a 150 kw solar power station, the largest in the country, by taking advantage of its abundant solar energy resources.

Experts here said it is the most economic way to transfer sunlight into power in Beitashan which enjoys rich solar energy resources. Otherwise, it will cost much more to get electricity from major power grids or by using diesel generator. The nearest power grid is about 200 km away, and it is very expensive and difficult to extend the power grid. While massive utilization of diesel generators may cause heavy pollution.

The solar power station has adopted multiple advanced technologies including photoelectron, automatic control and an electricity reserve system.

The Beitashan 150 kw solar power station is emerging as the country's largest in terms of generating capacity, and the 100 kw solar power station built in Angdo in the Tibet Autonomous Region has taken the second place.

(People's Daily September 27, 2003)

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