Business / Green China

AVIC draws up plan for UK solar plants

By Zhang Chunyan in London (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-30 07:35

Efforts seen as laying the foundation for renewable energy drive through Europe

A unit of Aviation Industry Corp of China will build an unspecified number of solar power plants in Britain, generating a total of 300 megawatts, a top company official said.

The announcement comes after the sale this year of its first UK project to Foresight Solar Fund Ltd, a British independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager.

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AVIC International Holding Corp would like to invest more in the industry, its Executive Vice-President Pan Linwu, told China Daily in London.

We mostly "built the solar plant using our own technology, materials and components," Pan said. "The success of this project is a good foundation to our investment in renewable energy in the UK and maybe other European countries. It also helped us to get to know the UK's renewable industry."

The 12 mw farm, about 112 km northeast of London near Saffron Walden, Essex, was linked to the national grid in March. Development and construction took over a year and AVIC paid 13 million pounds ($21.86 million) for the land. It is the biggest project of its type undertaken in the country by a Chinese firm.

The 48-hectare Essex plant generates 30,000 kilowatt-hours daily in summer and supplies electricity to 2,500 households, equivalent to burning 23 tons of coal daily.

"Next month, we will set up three new solar plants, which will generate a total of 25 megawatts in the UK," the general manager of AVIC's UK unit, Lou Yucheng said. "We will use the same format as the first one. If it succeeds, we will launch another 50-mw solar project soon."

State-owned and Beijing-headquartered, AVIC International Holding Corp was established in 1979 in China's initial wave of reforms and opening-up of policy. It had 150 billion yuan ($23.9 billion) in revenue last year. More than 60,000 people work for the company, including those at 400 subsidiaries in more than 180 countries.

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