China Starts Work on Huge $11 Billion Desert Renewables Project

Source: By Luz Ding, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, January 2, 2023

Inner Mongolia project is part of massive clean-power rollout China aims to build 450 GW of clean energy mainly in deserts

China broke ground on an 80 billion yuan ($11 billion) renewables project in Inner Mongolia, part of a massive clean-power rollout to achieve the nation’s ambitious climate targets.

The project, located in the Kubuqi Desert, will have 16 gigawatts of power capacity when completed, according to a statement by China Three Gorges Group, one of the two builders. It will be able to transmit 40 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province annually, with more than half from clean power, according to a report by state media Xinhua News.

The facility is set to become the world’s largest renewable project in a desert region, the company said. It ultimately will include 8 gigawatts of solar and 4 gigawatts of wind energy, plus 4 gigawatts of upgraded coal power to adjust for peak demand, according to Xinhua.

China Three Gorges didn’t give a time frame for the Inner Mongolia project’s completion, but said the current construction phase includes 1 gigawatt of solar capacity equipped with energy storage.

The energy base is one of 22 renewable power projects that Three Gorges launched on Wednesday, with a combined planned capacity of 19.6 gigawatts and total investment of 101 billion yuan, according to a statement by the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.