China powers up world's biggest ultra-high voltage line


The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) has started up the world’s longest and most powerful ultra-high voltage (UHV) power line.

The 1,100 kV line runs 3,293 km from Changji in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, all the way to Guquan in the eastern province of Shandong. That is almost the distance from Lisbon to Helskini.

The $5.9 billion project, which SGCC have dubbed the “Power Silk Road”, was approved in December 2015 and construction began one month later.

The project is “part of the nation’s strategy to shift electricity from the west to the east to ease electricity surplus in the west, given a backdrop that such infrastructure investments can drive economy,” said Nannan Kou, head of China Research at Bloomberg NEF in Beijing.

The new line, which can transmit 12 GW of power, runs through Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Henan provinces before ending in the Anhui province city of Xuancheng. It can supply 66 billion kWh of electricity to eastern China annually, meeting power demand of 50 million households and reducing coal use by 30.24 million tons, State Grid said.