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“Carbon Seeking” on Everest- JA Solar Switches on High-Altitude 200MW Solar Plant

Data captured by the National Energy Administration (NEA, China) has demonstrated that the difficulty of developing photovoltaic projects in specific regions has been multiplying, and they are increasingly constrained by land and energy resources.

From January to October 2023, China’s newly installed solar reached 143 million kilowatts, up 144.78% YoY, according to NEA. As the market continues to expand, the industry also shifted its focus to high-altitude areas with higher engineering difficulty and richer lighting resources, striving to break through the limitations of natural conditions through technological innovation.

The 200 MW solar project in Chaya county, Changdu City, connects to the grid.
The 200 MW solar project in Chaya county, Changdu City, connects to the grid.

To conquer such areas, the installation must face extra challenges including complex road conditions, difficulties in electricity transportation, and environmental hindrances such as oxygen scarcity, cold weather, and strong ultraviolet radiation, resulting in reduced personnel and mechanical efficiency. 

As altitude increases, atmospheric pressure and oxygen density decrease can lead to poor heat dissipation and increase the operating temperature of modules, posing higher requirements for equipment performance. Extreme weather such as low temperatures, blizzards, and gale also have a certain impact on the safety and reliability of the power plant.

Therefore, the construction of photovoltaic power stations in high-altitude areas requires comprehensive consideration of a series of issues such as project location selection, engineering management, construction technology, power station operation and maintenance, and economic benefits.

On November 11, the 200 MW husbandry-complementary hybrid solar farm was switched on and connected to the grid in Changdu City, China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. The project, 4,400 meters above sea level, is acclaimed to be the first full-capacity grid-connected power generation project with the largest single installed capacity in the area in 2023. The annual power generation may reach 340 million kilowatt hours, saving about 102,300 tons of standard coal, equivalent to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 280,800 tons per year.

To achieve efficient, safe, and stable power generation, the project was fully powered by 2465mm*1134mm modules of JA Solar DeepBlue 4.0 Pro with higher string power, higher power generation, and higher reliability, to better cope with hot spot issues and further reduce the system BOS cost.

To celebrate the completion of the project, JA Solar and Tibet Development Investment Group will jointly hold the High-altitude Clean and Low-carbon Development Forum, which will be streamed online on Dec. 13, to promote industrial communication on developing photovoltaic applications in high-altitude areas, and contribute to promoting the transformation of energy structure and achieving carbon neutrality.

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