China's highest wind farm, located in the Tibet autonomous region, started power generation on Thursday, said its operator China Three Gorges Corp.
With an installed capacity of 72.6 megawatts and a maximum single-unit capacity of 3.6 MW, the wind power project is also China's largest ultra-high-altitude facility.
Heights ranging from 3,500 meters to 5,500 meters are categorized as ultra-high altitudes. The Tibet facility is also the first wind power project to be integrated with the main power grid in the region, the company said.
The project will boost the annual on-grid electricity to more than 200 million kilowatt-hours, saving more than 60,000 metric tons of standard coal every year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions to the tune of 173,000 tons and sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 20 tons, it said.
Lei Mingshan, chairman of the company, said the project is of great significance to the development of more ultra-high-altitude wind power units in China as well as economic and social development in the region.
The company has been stepping up wind power development in recent years as the country seeks to ensure domestic energy security amid its green energy transition.
An analyst said wind power will be playing a key role in facilitating the country's ambition to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
Provincial-level regions with abundant solar and wind resources, including Gansu province and Tibet and the Inner Mongolia autonomous regions, see massive potential for wind power and should take the lead in developing clean energy in China, said Luo Zuoxian, head of intelligence and research at the Sinopec Economics and Development Research Institute.
Wind power has become a major player in the country's new energy mix, and is expected to further expand its share in the future, he said.
China Three Gorges Corp has been actively developing wind power projects in recent years. The world's first offshore wind farm using 16-MW turbines, operated by the company, started power generation in July, an important breakthrough for China's offshore wind power industry in terms of high-end equipment manufacturing and deep-sea wind power facility construction.
Located off Fujian province, the facility's turbines are equipped with 152-meter hubs. Each turbine has the world's longest impeller diameter of 252 meters, a swept area of around 50,000 square meters and the lightest per-MW weight. It is capable of producing more than 66 gigawatt-hours of clean electricity per year, it said.