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North China’s Hebei Province picks up pace in green, low-carbon energy shift

SHIJIAZHUANG, China, June 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In recent years, with the gradual implementation of the country’s carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals and the solid advancement of developing north China’s Hebei Province into a new energy powerhouse, State Grid Hebei Electric Power Co., Ltd., the local branch of China’s largest power grid company, saw rapid development of its new energy business.

Since 2019, the average annual growth rate of the installed capacity of new energy has exceeded 40 percent. By the end of May this year, the installed capacity of new energy reached 32.35 million kilowatts, accounting for over half of the total installed capacity, of which the installed capacity of distributed photovoltaic (PV) stood at 16.56 million kilowatts, accounting for over a quarter of the total.

In the first five months of 2023, the output of new energy power generation in State Grid Hebei Electric Power Co., Ltd. set a new record for three times, reaching a maximum of 22 million kilowatts, making up for 66 percent of the power load of the whole grid.

The company has taken multiple measures to improve the absorbing capacity of the power grid and serve the grid connection of new energy.

In Hebei’s Baoding City, local power authorities launched a pilot project to build a new power system. After two years of efforts, it has realized the minute-level collection of massive distributed PV data, built a distributed PV power prediction system accurately coupled with the grid topology, and completed the route verification and large-scale application of distributed PV mainstream control technology, enabling the observable and controllable operation of more than 133,000 distributed PV users in the whole region.

It is the first attempt in China to form a distributed PV monitoring, forecasting and control technology system that can be promoted on a large scale, ensuring the safe and reliable operation of the power system with a high proportion of new energy access.

“Distributed PV is scattered, random and intermittent. The increase of connected grids will inevitably make the operation control more difficult and limit some consumption channels,” said Cui Meng, chief engineer of Baoding power supply company of State Grid.

“Our job is to make distributed PV ‘visible,’ ‘accessible’ and ‘well controlled,’ and effectively guarantee the delivery of PV power generation while ensuring the safe and stable operation of the power grid,” Cui added.

At the same time, the Hebei branch of State Grid has organized the flexibility transformation of thermal power units. Since 2020, it has transformed 38 thermal power units with a total installed capacity of 16.34 million kilowatts, promoting the formation of a stable and reliable energy development pattern with multiple and complementary energy sources.

“Since 2022, we have invested 15 million yuan in the flexibility transformation of thermal power units, and renovated two 600,000-kilowatt thermal power units, raising the peak regulating capacity of the units from 60 percent to 70 percent,” said Hu Zengqi, deputy general manager of Dingzhou power plant, adding that the plant will complete the transformation of another two 600,000-kilowatt thermal power units to better serve the consumption of new energy.

The rapid development of new energy in Hebei has facilitated the province’s green and low-carbon energy transformation.

In the first five months of this year, the company absorbed 18.162 billion kWh of new energy electricity, a year-on-year increase of 25 percent, equivalent to saving 5.81 million tonnes of standard coal and reducing 15.07 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. New energy generation is expected to exceed 40 billion kWh in the whole year, accounting for more than 16 percent of electricity consumption.

New energy is expected to play a more important role in ensuring power supply, promoting economic and social development and facilitating green and low-carbon transformation in Hebei.