The first batch of wind power generators began operating in Shanxi province, marking a new era of renewable resources in the coal-rich province.
The operational wind power projects are located in Pinglu and Youyu wind farms with a total capacity of 75,000 kW. The project, one of Shanxi's key projects in the 11th Five-Year Program (2006-2010), was funded by Shanxi International Electricity Group Limited Company with a total investment of 750 million yuan ($109.63 million).
Eighteen of the 60 wind power generators have been debugged and are ready to begin working at the two farms, and all units are expected to be operational within the year. Together, the generators will have an annual clean electricity output of 134 million kWh.
Coal-fired generators consume 40,800 tons of standard coal annually to produce the same amount of electricity and emit 493 tons of dust, 87,000 tons of carbon dioxide , 390 tons of SO2 and 1,640 tons of nitrogen oxides.
Shanxi's richest wind resources can be found at Wutai Mountain, Luliang Mountain and the northwestern regions of the province, boasting an average annual wind speed of more than 3 meters per second, according to weather evaluations and field surveys.
Wind power will have a bright future in Shanxi, as the province's dense power grids facilitate wind accessibility and the government exempts half of taxations for renewable energy developers.
Shanxi has mapped out the planning of wind power generation. Nineteen wind farms will be built by 2020, with the total installed capacity of 2.3 million kW and an annual electricity output of 4.6 billion kW, which will reduce coal consumption by more than 3 million tons annually.