China has completed work on a $3.2bn electricity transmission line that will carry only renewable energy, the first of its kind in the world.
The 1,500km line, commissioned by China’s State Grid Corporation, is intended to stimulate the development of wind and solar electricity in the relatively remote provinces of Qinghai and Gansu.
The high-capacity line runs to densely-populated Henan, in the centre.
State Grid intends to put the line into full operation in December, when it will be able to handle 40 billion kWh a year.
In coming years, China State Grid said the project could create around 10,000 jobs in renewables and related industries.
At present State Grid has about 40GW of wind and solar generation in Qinghai and Gansu.
China State Grid is the largest utility in the world, and the fifth biggest company.
In December it bought a $1bn, 49% stake in Oman transmission network, adding to the $63bn in overseas assets it controls in Brazil, the Philippines, Portugal, Australia, Italy, Greece and Hong Kong.
Image: Gansu province has abundant sun and wind – but not many people (Matthew Summerton/CC BY-SA 3.0)