Three Chinese-made typhoon-resistant offshore wind turbines, some of the world's most powerful of their kind, have been running at full capacity this month in the Xinghua Gulf of East China's Fujian Province.
Each turbine, with its 76.6-meter blades, has a capacity rating of 7 MV, while the project's development cost stands at 2.3 billion yuan ($358 million), according to Mingyang Smart Energy, the manufacturer.
The turbines have been in operation since mid-May and are in good condition, said Zhang Qiying, chief technology officer of the company, which is based in Zhongshan, South China's Guangdong Province.
While China has been promoting green development, clean energy has been thriving in the country.
The National Energy Administration said the total amount of installed renewable energy capacity reached 650 million kilowatts in 2017, up 14% from 2016. Clean energy generated 1,700 TWh of electricity also in 2017, accounting for 26.4% of the country's total.
China's southeastern coastal areas see low wind speeds but experience many typhoons, a very different situation compared to Europe, where there is abundant wind energy sources, said Zhang. "Therefore, we need to address the pressure of typhoons, while utilizing them to raise the efficiency of our wind turbines."
According to the Global Wind Energy Council, China ranks third after Britain and Germany in terms of total installed capacity of offshore wind turbines, accounting for 11% of the world's total as of the end of 2016.
Since 2017, several coastal provinces have released their development plans for offshore wind power, with a total installed capacity exceeding 100 MV.
Guangdong, for example, plans to build 23 offshore wind farms before 2030. Their total installed capacity will hit 66.85 MV, a measurement three times that of the Three Gorges hydropower station.
A group of wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 100 MV at the sea just off Guangdong's Zhuhai city will begin operation by the end of this year, helping to tackle power shortages on nearby islets.
In China, the capacity rating of an offshore wind turbine is 1.5 to 2 times that of those on land. The new-generation wind turbines being developed are expected to have a capacity quadruple that of land-based turbines.
The rapid development of China's offshore wind energy industry is expected to form an industrial chain of high-end offshore equipment with a value of 1 trillion yuan, said Chen Sui, chairman of CGN Energy Holdings Co Ltd.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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