China Enters a Golden Era of Developing Ultra High Volatage
Issue Time:2014-08-11

In late April, 1000 kV Huainan - Nanjing - Shanghai UHV AC Project was approved by the government, the first UHV line this year. Another piece of news showed that a bundling program of 12 transmission channels containing a number of UHV projects passed the assessment. It is estimated that UHV projects will be intensively approved and constructed this year, which means the dawning of a golden era.

Accelerating the construction of UHV becomes a consensus

On April 18, Premier Li Keqiang chaired the first meeting of the new National Energy Commission to study and discuss the strategic issues and major projects in the development of energy. Developing long-distance and high-capacity transmission technology and constructing a number of west-to-east transmission channels with UHV and other conventional technologies this year according to the former plan were clearly proposed in the meeting, in order to optimize the allocation of resources, reduce loss and improve efficiency.

The industry media reported that the Premier's stance ended the argument of whether to construct UHV. The answer is YES and MORE. This year will be a golden era of approving and constructing lots of UHV projects.

Accelerating the development of UHV power grid is the only way to change energy development pattern, ensure energy security, construct ecological civilization and serve the economic and social development. Currently, two AC and three DC UHV projects have been built and in operation. These five projects, including Jindongnan-Jingmen UHV AC Demonstration Project and its expansion project, Huainan-Shanghai UHV AC Demonstration Project delivering electricity from Anhui to East China, Xiangjiaba-Shanghai ±800 kV UHV DC Transmission Pilot Project, Jinping-Sunan ±800 KV UHV DC Transmission Project and Southern Hami-Zhengzhou ±800kV UHV DC Transmission Project, are playing an important role in delivering electricity cross-regionally and regulating supply and demand. But UHV development is still lagging behind and needs to speed up urgently from the overall perspective of national electricity demand, efficient use of energy and building a beautiful China.

SGCC Chairman Liu Zhenya pointed out clearly that the construction of a backbone UHV grid and a unified national electricity market should be accelerated to promote the intensive development of large-scale coal, hydropower, nuclear power and renewable energy bases. UHV grids could not only optimize resource allocation nationwide, resolve the problems of abandoned water, wind and light, but also greatly improve the exploitation and allocation efficiency of fossil fuels such as coal.

Constructing UHV has become a consensus. It has been included in the 11th Five-Year and 12th Five-Year Plan, the Action Plan for Air Pollution Prevention and Control and the energy development goal of the 12th Five-Year Plan. Energy output and input provinces were eager to speed up its construction. During the Two Sessions this year, deputies and members from 26 provinces, including autonomous regions and municipalities, submitted 75 proposals on UHV and Smart Grid development, including 16 delegation proposals. UHV development was listed as key suggestion and proposal of the NPC and CPPCC. Recently, CPPCC has organized UHV symposiums and field research, and included it as the topic of the biweekly forum. Shi Dazhen, the former minister of the Ministry of Power Industry, said that the construction of UHV should be accelerated as an effective method to allocate resources.

The National Energy Administration plans to build 12 cross-regional transmission channels, including four UHV AC and four UHV DC lines conducted by SGCC. The four 1000 kV UHV AC lines are Ximeng-Shandong, Yuheng-Shandong, Huainan-Nanjing-Shanghai and West Inner Mongolia-Tianjin. The four ± 800 kV UHV DC lines are Inner Mongolia (Shanghaimiao)-Shandong, Ximeng-Jiangsu, Ningdong-Zhejiang and Shanxi-Jiangsu. They will play an important role for the future optimal allocation of energy resources and the governance of haze. On the approval of the "Four AC, Four DC" Program, the company will carry out the preliminary preparation immediately and orderly promote the construction.

In this program, two projects will start from Ximeng, Inner Mongolia, because its abundant coal and wind resources are suitable to generate electricity locally and deliver the electricity out. According to the plan, another3GW electricity will be sent to Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area and another 6GW electricity will be sent to Shandong via Ximeng-Shandong UHV AC Project, which means to reduce 14.85 million tons of standard coal per year for those areas, equivalent to 20.79 million tons of raw coal, and reducing 36.38 million tons of carbon dioxide emission per year.

Ready for large-scale UHV construction

UHV power grid is a China's major innovation with completely independent intellectual property rights in the world energy sector, with the advantages of large transmission capacity, long distance, high efficiency, low loss and small land use, and is always playing an important role in cross-regional power transmission. After years of efforts, China's UHV technology has led the world with fully proved necessity, economy and safety. Now it's the right time to accelerate UHV development.

UHV transmission has been through a long-term practice. The two AC and three DC projects have been in safe operation so far and totally delivered over 160TWh of electricity. Jindongnan-Jingmen UHV AC Demonstration Project has realized electricity transmission in both ways and fully-loaded voltage with large capacity during its five-year operation, withstanding the test from storm, wind, high temperature, cold and other severe weather. The project, as an important north-south energy transmission channel, has delivered 58.3TWh of electricity till this March. The three UHV DC projects of Xiangjiaba-Shanghai, Jinping-Sunan, and Southern Hami-Zhengzhou bring the hydropower, thermal power and wind power from Sichuan and Xinjiang to the load center in East and Central China. Till the end of this March, it has delivered 94TWh of electricity and played an irreplaceable role in the development and utilization of clean energy.

After 10 years of endeavor, China has fully mastered the core technology of UHV and the localization rate of the AC and DC equipment has been over 90 %, breaking the long-term monopoly of multinational companies in the international market. China's UHV AC voltage is now used as the international standard and the DC project has been exported overseas. Four committee secretariats of IEC are set in SGCC, which significantly improves our saying and influence in grid standardization in the world. Bill Richardson, the former U.S. Secretary of Energy, wrote that China's cross-regional UHV transmission technology would be a challenge to most industrialized countries, because it allowed optimizing the consumption of coal to the best, lowering the long-distance loss to the minimum and reducing greenhouse gas emission.

UHV development matters the overall situation with great significance, which requires comprehensive planning, long-term consideration, clear objectives and expedited promotion. With the country's support, it has made major breakthroughs. It is believed, along with the approval, construction and operation of a number of key projects, UHV will play a more important role in the near future and make greater contributions to China's energy security, economic development and livelihood improvement.

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