URUMQI -- Workers on Monday broke ground on what is set to be the largest pumped-storage power station in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Located in Ruoqiang county in the Bayingolin Mongolian autonomous prefecture, the Ruoqiang pumped-storage power station is expected to contribute to grid stability in Xinjiang, a region with abundant new energy resources.
Pumped-storage power stations use off-peak electricity to pump water to higher locations, where it is stored and then released to generate electricity when a power supply is strained. They can complement wind and solar power generation, which brings bigger fluctuations to the grid.
With a total investment of 16.5 billion yuan ($2.3 billion), the Ruoqiang power station has a total designed installed capacity of 2.1 million kilowatts and will generate an annual average of 2.6 billion kilowatt-hours, according to the region's development and reform commission.
Construction is scheduled to be completed in seven years. It is expected that after the station is put into operation, it will slash standard coal use by approximately 1.35 million tons and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 4.05 million tons per year.
With a cumulative installed capacity nearing 51 million kilowatts, new energy now accounts for 41 percent of Xinjiang's total installed capacity.