GE Renewables Connects World’s most Powerful Hydro Units to the Grid

GE Renewable Energy connects the last six of world´s most powerful hydro units to the grid in Wudongde, China

GE Renewables Connects World’s most Powerful Hydro Units to the Grid

In line with the planned schedule, GE Renewable Energy’s last unit of the Wudongde (WDD) hydropower station has now been successfully connected to the grid for power generation and has completed 72 hours of trial operation. Under the contract signed in 2015, GE was responsible for the design, engineering, manufacturing, erection supervision and the commissioning of the 6 x 850 MW Francis turbine generator sets and related equipment for the Wudongde hydropower project. At 850 MW, these are the world’s largest units ever used in a hydropower plant. The first unit was connected to the grid last July. A single such unit is said to be capable of powering the equivalent of 1.8 million typical Chinese homes.

The WDD hydropower Station is located in the lower reaches of Jinsha River with a total installed capacity of 10,200 MW. The power plant is an essential part of the West-East Power Transmission project, in which China is developing power resources in the western region and sending electricity to provinces in the East which are in short supply of electricity, including Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Beijing. It is estimated that the clean energy produced by the WDD hydropower plant will save about 12.2 million tons of standard coal per year. Likewise, the power plant is expected to reduce emissions of 30.5 million tons of carbon dioxide as well as 104,000 tons of sulfur dioxide.

Wudongde is already the third joint large-scale national energy infrastructure project of the China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) and GE Renewable Energy on a national level. The Three Gorges Project was connected to the grid as early as 2008, followed by the Xiangjiaba hydropower Plant, which was completed in 2014.

Pascal Radue, CEO of GE Renewable Energy’s Hydro business, said, “Congratulations to CTG and all the parties involved on the successful commissioning of all units of the world’s seventh largest hydropower plant. Seeing these giant units now up and running makes me very proud. In this way, we are consolidating the role of hydropower as the foundation of China’s future energy landscape. That our technology is helping China achieve its goals in reducing emissions and conserving energy is further evidence of the successful partnership that CTG and GE Renewable Energy have built over the past 30 years.”

To be able to realize the project, GE Renewable Energy has also upgraded local hydropower capacities in China. Among other things, the company has managed the project from its site in Tianjin, China, where most of the components were also manufactured. The parts were then assembled at a specially built and dedicated on-site facility in Wudongde. This remote workshop helped improve logistical efficiency while maintaining the required quality standards.