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State Grid helps boost rural vitalization in Henan with enhanced efforts

Updated: Apr 16, 2024 By Zhuang Qiange and Pang Bo Print
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Safe electricity usage is explained by a staff member from State Grid Xuchang Power Supply Co in Gucheng village, Xuchang, Henan province, on April 9. [Photo provided to]

Looking at his village's 8-hectare fruit and vegetable greenhouses in the prefecture-level city of Xuchang in Henan province, Party secretary Yang Yalin beamed with delight: "Our 27 solar-run greenhouses offer us a new path of rural vitalization by boosting our income."

The village — Gucheng — is located in Nanxi town under Xuchang's Changge city, and is a well-known greenhouse cultivation base, as Changge's vicinity with the provincial capital makes its fruit and vegetables easy to reach big cities.

Inside the planting base, greenhouse manager Yang Haijun and his employees busily picked cucumbers on April 9 and carried them basket by basket onto trucks waiting outside.

Yang Yalin recalled that their success was hard won and would not have been realized without the timely help from the local unit of the State Grid, which shoulders a dual task of safeguarding the nation's energy security and economic lifeline.

"Back in 2019, I organized the villagers to rent 1.5 hectares of land to grow such varieties as watermelon, pitaya, cucumber, asparagus, celery and grapes, as a way to develop our characteristic economy, and built five solar-operated greenhouses," he said, adding that they also set up a Xinji Agricultural Cooperative and registered a trademark.

But they needed further power to run their business, and in 2020, employees of the State Grid Xuchang Power Supply Co came to help bolster electricity supply in the village.

"We added two power-distribution transformers for them with a capacity of 400 kVA (kilovolt amperes), erected 1,150 meters of 10 kV electric wires, as well as 3,500 meters of 400 V low-voltage power lines," said Song Haojie, an employee of Guqiao Center Power Supply Station under Xuchang Power Supply Co.

He said they also installed 2,000 meters of power lines to reach the households in need, and replaced over 50 outdated metering devices, thus ensuring the village's electricity demand.

With a booming business, Gucheng village invested another 2 million yuan ($278,000) between 2021 and 2022, renting other 6.5 hectares of land and successfully building 22 solar-run greenhouses to connect with the previous five greenhouses.

"We were embarking on our new path of 'developing industries + offering jobs + boosting village's collective economy'," Yang Yalin said.

He noted: "You can see that in our greenhouses, we not only have lighting equipment to enhance lighting for the fruits and vegetables, but also have good ventilation. But all these cannot run without sufficient power supply."

With increased cultivation size, Yang Yalin said they applied for constructing two cold storage houses with a capacity of 2,000 cubic meters in August 2023, aiming to prolong the fresh-keeping cycle of their produce and form a complete industrial chain from planting to cold storage and seasonal sales.

Li Qingjie, Song's colleague, said they have approved the village's power upgrade application and added a 400-kVA distribution transformer, erecting 900 meters of 10 kV electric wires and 1,200 meters of 400 V low-voltage power lines for the cooperative by January this year. All these have fully guaranteed its new need for electricity.

Li said in addition to providing sufficient power for the village, staff members of State Grid Xuchang Power Supply Co also printed special service cards and distributed them among greenhouse business owners, telling them to call any time they needed help.

Meanwhile, they also established a WeChat group for the villagers and set up an emergency repair team, promising to quickly solve electricity problems for them, Li said.

Jiao Yongsheng and Liu Nannan contributed to this story.

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