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China Brings High-Elevation Hydropower Project Online

The first unit of one of the world’s highest-elevation hydropower plants began operating in China in April. China Energy said the Maerdang hydropower station (Figure 1), sited at more than 16,000 feet above sea level in northwest China’s Qinghai Province, came online on April 1, with the initial unit’s 550 MW of generation capacity expected to provide 13.2 GWh of electricity daily. Gu Faming, deputy head of the mechanical and electrical center of the Maerdang station, said the plant when fully operational could provide about 15 TWh of electricity annually.

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