China’s nuclear power company plans $2.5bn renewables investment in Inner Mongolia

China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) is preparing to invest $2.5bn in renewables generation capacity in its northern province of Inner Mongolia, including a 1GW solar facility and a 2GW wind farm, according to a report in PV Magazine.

The investment aims to capitalise on the climate of the region, which combines strong and steady winds with up to 3,400 hours of sunshine a year.

CGN was founded in 1994 to operate nuclear power plants, but has since built up a domestic portfolio of renewable assets, including 9.1GW of wind capacity and 1.7GW of solar.

The wind turbines are to be installed near the city of Ulanchabu, which will also make the turbines. Administrative work will be carried out in the first half of next year with construction scheduled to begin in August and complete in 2021.

The Inner Mongolia Solar Energy Industry Association says the transmission lines required to bring the electricity from the sparsely populated north have already been built.

At the beginning of this year, the State Power Investment Corporation (Spic), one of China’s top five energy generators, announced plans to build a 6GW windfarm close to China’s border with Mongolia.

Spic announced that is has received planning approval for its project from the Ulanqab Municipal Development of Inner Mongolia. If it goes ahead, it would install turbines across an area of 3,800 square kilometres, roughly the same size as the UK county of Suffolk, at a construction cost of about $6.8bn.   

Image: The grasslands of Inner Mongolia (Shizhao/CC BY-SA 3.0)

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