Four Super Hydropower Stations on Yangtze River

Because of the dense rivers and abundant runoff, China is a country with abundant water energy. According to data, China has at least 600 million hydropower, of which more than half can be used. Therefore, China attaches great importance to the construction of hydropower stations. After the Three Gorges Dam completed, the four super hydropower stations built by China on the Yangtze River are more powerful than others, and all of them have "unique skills". Today, the combined power generation scale is no less than that of the Three Gorges, and even the Three Gorges seems to be lagging behind. These four hydropower stations are Wudongde Hydropower Station, Xiluodu Hydropower Station, Xiangjiaba Hydropower Station and Baihetan Hydropower Station. Baihetan Hydropower Station is the second largest hydropower station in China, with an average annual power generation of 62.443 billion kilowatts and an annual emission reduction of 50.48 million tons of carbon dioxide.

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The two projects of Jinsha River Phase I Project are Xiluodu Hydropower Station completed in 2015 and Xiangjiaba Hydropower Station completed in 2014. Xiluodu Hydropower Station is the upstream regulating reservoir of Xiangjiaba Hydropower Station, and Xiangjiaba Hydropower Station is downstream reverse regulation reservoir. The two hydropower stations cooperate with each other and control 85% of the Jinsha River basin. Although the Xiluodu Hydropower Station is larger in construction scale, but the installed capacity of the Xiangjiaba Hydropower Station is higher. It is worth mentioning that the Xiangjiaba Hydropower Station is the only hydropower station with irrigation capacity among the four hydropower stations, and, like the Three Gorges, is equipped with the world's largest ship lift.

Wudongde Hydropower Station is known as the fourth largest hydropower station in China and the seventh largest in the world. The construction of this hydropower station is very difficult, surpassing Xiangjiaba and Xiluodu. It is characterized by the use of an arch dam design, not a gravity dam. The dam body is very thin, the thickness of the bottom of the dam is 51 meters, and the thinnest part of the top is only 0.19 meters. However, the dam body with arched design and the use of new construction materials and techniques can withstand the pressure of water flow. It is a seemingly thin but sturdy and durable dam, it is commendable that Wudongde Hydropower Station is also known as a smart dam. Many sensors are installed to monitor the status of the dam in real time.

The strength of Baihetan Hydropower Station comes out on top. It is the largest among the four hydropower stations and the second largest hydropower station in China after the Three Gorges. It took 70 years to plan and cost hundreds of billions of yuan. The hydropower station is a super dam with the highest technical difficulty in the world, the largest single unit capacity, the largest construction scale, and second only to the Three Gorges in power generation. Due to the difficult construction environment and turbulent water flow during construction, it brought a lot of tests to the team. Fortunately, today the dam body has been completed and the installed capacity has begun. After the four dams are put into operation in the future, the average annual power generation will exceed the Three Gorges, so their role is very important.


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These four hydropower stations are all located in the Jinsha River Basin. The Jinsha River is the upper reaches of the Yangtze River with a height difference of 5,100 meters. The hydropower resources exceed 100 million kWh, accounting for 40% of the entire Yangtze River hydropower resources. Therefore, China will build 25 hydropower stations on the Jinsha River. But the most representative ones are Wudongde, Xiluodu, Xiangjiaba and Baihetan hydropower stations. The investment scale of these four hydropower stations exceeds 100 billion yuan. They will be able to continuously provide clean energy for China, and make important contributions to China's ecological environment while helping power transformation and development.

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With the successive operation of these four hydropower stations in the Jinsha River Basin and the completion of all 25 hydropower stations in the Jinsha River in the future, China will be able to make full use of the Jinsha River hydropower resources. Through the abundant hydropower resources, it will be able to generate a large amount of clean energy. It also has become the main force of China's west-to-east power transmission. After the power is transported to the eastern coastal cities, the power consumption in the eastern region can be eased, so that industrial power cuts can be adjusted accordingly. After the power supply is fully guaranteed, the eastern coastal cities will also glow with a new round of life emerges.

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