Behind the world's largest and highest hydro-solar project

Kela PV Power Plant Phase I, in the Yalong River Basin in China's Sichuan Province, covers around 16 million square metres and combines solar & hydropower

Located in the Yalong River Basin in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze, Yajiang County in the southwest Sichuan Province, China is Kela PV Power Plant Phase I.

Situated at an altitude ranging from 4,000 to 4,600 metres, the project is said to be the world's largest and highest-altitude mega project and, as of October, has commenced producing electricity.

Kela PV Power Plant Phase I

The project, which covers an area of around 16 million square metres — or 2,000 standard football fields — has an enhanced installed capacity of 1 million kilowatts. It also features more than two million PV modules and connects to the Lianghekou Hydropower Plant through a 500-kV transmission line, combining solar and hydropower to maximise power efficiency.

More than 5,300 Huawei smart string inverters serve as the ‘heart’ of the PV plant and offer stable and reliable operations in extreme cold environments on plateaus. 

How does the plant work?

With the core of Kela PV Power Plant being based on hydro-solar collaboration, the facility doubles down on clean energy efficiency by feeding unstable solar directly into the Lianghekou Hydropower Plant, where it is regulated and stabilised to produce a reliable power source.

The plant also utilises the surrounding environment to its advantage:with wet summers and dry winters, the terrain, altitude and climate conditions complement PV and hydropower, which in turn maximises OPEX efficiency.

Huawei FusionSolar allows the Kela PV Power Plant to withstand extreme environments, operating seamlessly at high altitudes and low temperatures, down to below –30°C.

It has been said the project is capable of two billion kWH annually, serving a million households. ANd, with the panels making up the plant situated at least 1.8 metres above the ground, it is considerate of local animal husbandry. This measure allows space for vegetation growth and preserves grazing areas for native livestock. The area covered by the PV panels also reduces water evaporation from the pasture, which in turn has a positive impact on the soil quality and achieves ‘pastoral and solar’ synergy.

A leading digitised PV power plant

The plant provides the area with more usable energy, with Huawei Smart PV Solution enabling the Kela PV Power Plant to produce at least an additional 1% of usable energy by utilising the Smart Tracker Control Algorithm (SDS). SDS increase in efficiency is achieved by capturing more sunlight in complex terrains or during backtracking in the early morning and late afternoon, or on cloudy and rainy days.

It also offers safety and reliability credentials, with a high availability of 99.999% and an IP66 protection level. Its Smart String-level Disconnection (SSLD) tech ensures the safety of the DC system.

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