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China’s electric power industry started 80 years later than western countries. Now, China has built the world’s largest national interconnected power grid.

Mr. Zhang Guobao, former deputy director of the national development and Reform Commission and chairman of the expert committee of the national energy administration, has personally witnessed the construction of the State Grid. He described in detail how the century project was completed in his book “blue thread of the road”.

How does China build the largest power grid in the world?

This article is excerpted from Zhang Guobao’s the blue thread of the road, people’s publishing house, 2018 edition

1、 Starting from the backward, weak and broken “mess”

The power industry of new China started from the backward, weak and broken “mess” of old China.

When the people’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, the country’s installed capacity was only 1.85 million kilowatts, only equivalent to the current two units. In 2015, China’s installed capacity reached 1.50673 billion kilowatts (excluding the power supply areas of Xinjiang production and Construction Corps and Shaanxi local power company), 814 times that of 1949. In 1949, China’s power generation reached 4.9 billion kwh, and in 2015, it reached 5.55 trillion kwh, about 1133 times of 1949. Before the reform and opening up, 330kV was the highest voltage level of power grid. Today, China has the highest voltage level in the world ± 800 kV DC transmission line and 1000 kV high voltage AC transmission line.

In the first five-year plan implemented from 1953 to 1957, the goal of electric power development is to have an installed capacity of 2.05 million kilowatts, and the power generation capacity will reach 15.9 billion kilowatt hours by the end of 1957. This goal is only equivalent to the level of today’s two units. In 1952, the first high-temperature and high-pressure thermal power unit built in China was Fulaerji thermal power plant in Heilongjiang Province, with a single unit capacity of only 25000kw, and the equipment was aided by the Soviet Union.

Before the reform and opening up in 1978, the highest voltage level of China’s power grid was the 330kV AC transmission line from Longyangxia to Tianshui to Guanzhong, which was completed and put into operation on June 6, 1972. The rest are power grids below 220 (110) kV. The 220kV transmission line designed and constructed in China is Fengman Hushitai lishizhai line. It was completed and put into operation on January 27, 1954, and Fengman Hydropower Station began to supply power to Angang.

Through unremitting efforts of several generations, China has built the world’s largest interconnected power grid, with the highest voltage level in the world ± 800 kV DC transmission line and 1000 kV high voltage AC transmission line, and so far there has been no large-scale blackout accident like that occurred in the US East and European power grid.

In 2015, China’s installed power generation capacity reached 1.506 billion kilowatts, ranking the first in the world, with the world’s largest single ultra supercritical power generation unit of more than 1 million kilowatts. China’s electric power industry started 80 years later than that of western countries, and now it has become a real power country in the world. This is a proud achievement worthy of the Chinese people’s pride, and also the result of the efforts of the vast number of workers in China’s electric power front from generation to generation. In particular, we should remember the special contributions made by Li Peng, Huang Yicheng, Zeng Peiyan, Yao Zhenyan, Shi Dazhen and other leaders of energy and electric power as well as Lin Zongtang, Lu Yansun, Sun Changji and other leading comrades in the field of electric power equipment to China’s electric power development.

2、 Reform and opening up have brought China’s electric power technology to a new level

Since the implementation of the reform and opening up policy in 1978, China has come into contact with the electric power technology and equipment of developed countries, and we also see our own gap. Since the early 1980s, China has introduced a large number of advanced power generation equipment and technology. Through digestion, absorption and re innovation, China’s power technology has stepped onto a new level. It was at this time that I joined the State Development Planning Commission. I was responsible for the technology introduction work in the mechanical field in the Bureau of machinery and electronics, and handled almost all the technology introduction of electric equipment. My predecessor is Comrade Fang Wanbai, and the director of the Bureau of mechanical and electronic engineering is Comrade Tang Ziyuan. He is a fellow of Premier Zhu Rongji in Hunan Province and a colleague of Premier Zhu Rongji’s contemporaries working in the Bureau of mechanical and electronic engineering of the State Development Planning Commission. I had the opportunity to witness the technology introduction and localization in this period.

At that time, the country was very short of foreign exchange, so every foreign exchange index of imported technology had to be approved. The foreign exchange indicators of all the imported technologies are centralized in the foreign investment department of the State Planning Commission. At that time, Xie Yangan was in charge of technology import and foreign exchange. The Ministry of electric power industry and the Ministry of machinery industry are responsible for the declaration and implementation of the imported technology, and the State Planning Commission is responsible for the final examination and approval. During this period, the manufacturing technology of equipment related to power transmission and transformation was introduced from transformers, high-voltage switches, arresters, oil filled cables to insulation equipment and cable joints.

In 1981, China built the first 500kV AC transmission line from Pingdingshan, Henan Province to Wuchang, Hubei Province by purchasing a full set of foreign equipment and technology, so as to solve the problem of power stability of 1.7 m rolling mill in Wuhan Iron and steel plant.

In 1984, the first 500 kV AC transmission line was built from Yuanbaoshan power plant to Haicheng via Jinzhou and Liaoyang. Almost all the equipment used in this line is the first batch of self-produced equipment with imported technology in our country, so there are many quality problems such as oil leakage of oil filled cable and transformer. At that time, the SF6 circuit breaker produced by Pingdingshan high voltage switchgear plant with imported technology also exploded.

In 1989, China’s first ± 500 kV DC transmission line Gezhouba (6.670, 0.08, 1.21%) to Shanghai has been built and put into operation. The equipment and technology of this line are all purchased from BBC company. Later, BBC company merged with Asia company, which is now ABB company. our country ± 500 kV and later ± 800 kV HVDC is developed on this basis.

Another major technology introduction project in the power industry is the introduction of 300000 kW and 600000 kW generating units from Westinghouse. Previously, China’s largest self-produced power generation equipment was 125000 kW double water internal cooling generator set and 200000 kW generator“ During the “Cultural Revolution”, the state also arranged Dongfang Electric Power Equipment Co., Ltd. to tackle key problems of 300000 kW power generation equipment, but it has not yet been produced. The 300000 kW and 600000 kW generating units imported from Westinghouse have played an important role in upgrading China’s power generation equipment.

As for Westinghouse of the United States, it is a company that has provided important technology for China’s power equipment. Of course, this company has gradually declined. Before the liberation of the whole country, the Kuomintang government sent more than 200 people to Westinghouse for internship. Most of these people later became the backbone of China’s power equipment industry and power industry. This is introduced in the development history of China’s electrical machinery industry — a century’s review and prospect initiated by Comrade Jiang Zemin. After the reform and opening up, China has introduced 300000 kW and 600000 kW power generation equipment and technology from Westinghouse. The first supporting projects are Shandong Shiheng 300 MW power plant and Anhui Pingwei 600 MW power plant. With the introduction of this technology, the manufacturing technology of power generation equipment in China has reached a new level. Now, the third generation nuclear power technology of AP1000 is also imported from Westinghouse.

In the early 1980s, in order to realize the localization of equipment for a number of major engineering projects, the State Council established the State Council major equipment office, which is located in the State Economic Commission, with Comrade Lin Zongtang, deputy director of the State Economic Commission, as the director of the office. Comrade Lin Zongtang was the designer of the 10000 ton hydraulic press of Shanghai heavy machinery plant under the leadership of Shen Hong, Vice Minister of the first machinery department. Later, he became the first minister of the Ministry of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

It is said that the major equipment office of the State Council was originally set up in the State Planning Commission. Due to the refusal of Comrade Song Ping, then director of the State Planning Commission, it was suggested that the office should be set up in the State Economic Commission. The State Planning Commission participated in the work as a member unit. As a staff member of the State Planning Commission, I participated in the work of the major equipment office of the State Council. Jiang Zemin and Li Peng were all members of the leading group for major equipment of the State Council at that time. Among the 12 complete sets of equipment initially determined, those from Gezhouba to Shanghai are involved in power equipment ± 500kV DC transmission line, 500kV AC transmission and transformation equipment, Qinshan nuclear power plant equipment, Three Gorges project equipment and 300000 kW, 600000 kW power generation equipment.

3、 Step by step to build a unified large power grid with national interconnection and mutual supply

Before 1999, China’s power grid was still not connected to each other in various regions. Since then, the interconnection between Northeast China Power Grid and North China power grid, central China Power Grid and Northwest China Power Grid has been successively completed, and even the interconnection between Hainan Island and the mainland and the power supply from the mainland to Hong Kong and Macao have been completed.

In 1999, I served as the deputy director of the national development and Reform Commission, in charge of energy and transportation infrastructure, industry, science and technology, etc. at that time, China had formed the northeast, northwest, North China, East China, and Southern joint venture power grids, but Shandong, Fujian, Sichuan (including Chongqing), Hainan, and Xinjiang Tibet Autonomous Region is an independent power grid which is not connected with neighboring provinces. Northeast, northwest, North China, East China, Southern joint venture power grid and Sichuan Chongqing power grid are not connected to each other. There are 11 power grid systems with more than 2 million kilowatts installed.

In the vast and sparsely populated Xinjiang and Tibet Autonomous Region, the region is divided into several small local power grids. For example, the Tibet Autonomous Region initially had only the central Tibet power grid connected to Lhasa and Shigatse, while Linzhi, Changdu and Ali were all independent small power grids. In Xinjiang, there are North Xinjiang power grid with Urumqi as the center and South Xinjiang power grid with Korla as the center. The power grids in Yili area to the west of Kuitun are not connected with each other. There are several independent small power grids in one area. At that time, it was far from forming a nationwide interconnected unified power grid. Each power grid was in charge of its own affairs.

If you look further, there are still so many small hydropower counties in China, which are under the management of the water conservancy department. One year, there was a group incident in a military enterprise in Heilongjiang Province. Premier Zhu Rongji led the team to Heilongjiang to deal with it. I also went with the delegation as a member of the central delegation. In the report of Heilongjiang Province, the difficulties of forest areas were particularly mentioned. Only then did I know that the power grid department in the forest area, which was managed by the forestry department, was also an independent power grid. Later, when the forestry became difficult, there was no money for the transformation and development of the forestry power grid.

After the Wenchuan earthquake, I went with Vice Premier Hui Liangyu to the front-line headquarters to restore the power infrastructure. Only then did I know that the power grid in Aba Prefecture is called the animal husbandry power grid, which is managed by the agricultural department and not by the power company.

In the past two years, when the issue of UHV has been debated, people who oppose UHV have emphasized the issue of hierarchical management. Sometimes I wonder, when I was in charge of the energy and transportation infrastructure in 1999, the power grid was still so decentralized and multi headed. How can I adopt a hierarchical management method?

The situation at that time was that they were in charge of their own affairs. Therefore, after I took office, my idea for power grid construction is to build these scattered and independent power grids into a unified power grid that can be interconnected and supplied across the country. But I’m not sure if I can finish this task in my term of office. My idea is consistent with the idea of the State Power Corporation at that time. In the process of building a national interconnected national power grid, we all cooperated and supported each other.

(1) The Northeast power grid is connected with the North China power grid

First, in May 2001, a 500kV AC line from Suizhong of Liaoning Province to jiangjiaying of Hebei Province was built to connect the Northeast Power Grid with the North China power grid, and the Northeast Power Grid and the North China Power Grid became a large synchronous power grid. However, the two power grids were connected by a 500kV AC line, which was too fragile, so they were later disconnected and built in Gaoling ± The 500 kV DC back-to-back converter station connects the Northeast Power Grid and the North China power grid into an asynchronous power grid.

Suizhong Power Plant is very important to connect the Northeast Power Grid and North China power grid. So later, when Comrade Chen Deming was transferred to be deputy director of the State Planning Commission to take charge of energy, I took the opportunity of a meeting in Beidaihe to specially invite him to visit Suizhong Power Plant, hoping that he would pay attention to the interconnection of Suizhong Power Plant and Northeast Power Grid with North China Power grid.

(2) Central China power grid is connected with Northwest China power grid

The construction of Lingbao Converter Station started in February 2003, and the DC system was successfully unlocked on April 11, 2005, realizing the interconnection of central China Power Grid and Northwest China power grid. In August 2005, Lingbao Converter Station was put into commercial operation.

The central China power grid is connected with the northwest power grid through the transmission line from Lingbao, Henan Province to Lintong, Shaanxi Province. On December 14, 2009, the extension project of Henan Lingbao back to back converter station of northwest and central China network was put into commercial operation.

In November 2013, the project from Baoji, Shaanxi Province to Deyang, Sichuan Province was completed ± The 500 kV DC transmission line connected the Northwest Power Grid with the central China power grid into an asynchronous power grid, and Sichuan Hydropower began to be transported to the northwest.

(3) Central China power grid is connected with China Southern Power Grid

In order to solve the problem of power transmission of 10 million kilowatts to Guangdong, in August 2000, according to the proposal of chairman Li Peng, a power transmission project from the Three Gorges to Guangdong was built ± 500kV DC transmission project (Hubei Jingzhou to Huizhou BOLUO Xiangshui town). June 2004: Three Gorges to Guangdong ± 500 kV DC put into operation. Central China Power Grid and China Southern Power Grid become interconnected asynchronous power grid.

(4) Central China power grid is connected with Sichuan Chongqing power grid to form a new central China power grid

Ertan Hydropower Station, located in Sichuan Province, encountered the Asian financial crisis when it was completed. Affected by this, the demand for electricity was at a low ebb, and the hydropower of Ertan could not be effectively absorbed. The original power transmission plan of the Three Gorges power station is to supply power from the Three Gorges to Chongqing. Due to the weak power supply, the power of the Three Gorges power station will no longer be transmitted to Chongqing, but will be absorbed by Ertan. Later, the economy resumed rapid growth, the power load rose sharply, and Chongqing began to lack electricity. Therefore, Chongqing Mayor Wang Hongju came to me and blamed why the Three Gorges did not supply electricity to Chongqing? This is the moment and that is the moment. In order to effectively absorb Ertan Power and Sichuan’s hydropower during the wet season, it is decided to build 30000 lines. From the Three Gorges to Wanxian County of Chongqing, a 500kV AC transmission line will be built to connect Sichuan Chongqing power grid and central China power grid into a new synchronous central China power grid.

(5) The middle channel of Three Gorges power transmission from west to East

The Three Gorges project is located in the middle of China. One of its major functions is to produce a large amount of clean power, which was a very valuable resource in the case of power shortage in China at that time. The provinces and cities around the Three Gorges are scrambling to share the power of the Three Gorges.

At first, the Three Gorges power distribution scope included the west to Chongqing, and the rest was basically along the river to central and East China, including Hubei, Hunan, Henan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Zhejiang. The first planned transmission line to East China power grid is Sanchang line (from Longquan of Three Gorges to Changzhou) ± 500 kV DC line. In addition, there are three Shanghai lines (Hubei Yidu to Shanghai Qingpu Huaxin Town) and so on. Later, according to the changes in the situation, the Beidaihe meeting in August 2000 decided to build the three Guangzhou lines from Jingmen, Hubei Province to BOLUO, Huizhou, Guangdong Province.

However, the completion of the Three Gorges Project coincided with the low power consumption period, and many provinces and cities said that they could not accept the power from the Three Gorges Project. Chongqing used to say that Chongqing has made sacrifices for the Three Gorges migrants and should share the power of the Three Gorges. Now it is said that Chongqing has made great contributions to the resettlement of the Three Gorges and can not accept the power supply from the Three Gorges. Later, Chongqing mainly absorbed the hydropower of Ertan Hydropower Station in Sichuan. But later, the power supply became tense again, especially in the dry season. Chongqing blamed why it didn’t send power to Chongqing?

Henan Province says that it mainly relies on thermal power and does not need power from the Three Gorges. Jiangxi said that it is a small agricultural province and does not need much electricity. Anhui also says it is an agricultural province, and it has two Huaihe coal mines, and it doesn’t need electricity from the Three Gorges. Only Jiangsu, Shanghai and Zhejiang have always expressed their acceptance of the Three Gorges power supply.

To this end, I asked Wang Jun from the basic industry department of the national development and Reform Commission to set up a Three Gorges power distribution group to distribute the Three Gorges power to all provinces and cities year by year. After the completion of the Three Gorges project, the state formed the Three Gorges Project Acceptance Committee, which is divided into two parts: one is the Three Gorges project, the other is the Three Gorges power transmission project. Ma Kai, then director of the national development and Reform Commission, was the leader of the acceptance team of the Three Gorges power transmission project. I was the deputy director in charge of energy at that time. After more than one year’s hard work, experts have completed the national acceptance of the Three Gorges power transmission project.

During the period of tight power supply, some people in the Hubei Provincial delegation questioned why the Three Gorges power should be sent to East China as far as possible? Why can’t we stay in Hubei and develop Hubei economy? But they don’t know that there is a big difference between the power generated by the Three Gorges in the wet season and the power generated by the Three Gorges in the dry season. It can generate nearly 20 million kilowatts of electricity in wet season, but only about 5.5 million kilowatts in dry season. In order to solve the huge gap in the wet and dry season, we must build more than 10 million kilowatts of thermal power in Hubei to balance, but in the wet season, the 10 million kilowatts of thermal power will stop, which is very uneconomic. Only interconnection and mutual supply is the right way to solve the problem.

(6) Power transmission from west to East, the formation of China Southern Power Grid

Before the formation of China Southern Power Grid, it was called China Southern joint venture company. The power assets of Guangdong Province are mainly the local assets of Guangdong Province, which do not belong to the State Power Corporation. Due to the rapid economic development of Guangdong Province, power shortage is very serious, which has become the norm. Guangdong electric power has invested in the first and second cascade power stations of Tianshengqiao and obtained a certain share of power, and is building a power station from Tianshengqiao to Guangzhou ± 500 kV DC transmission line. In August 2000, the Central Committee of the Beidaihe meeting decided to implement the west to East power transmission project. During the Tenth Five Year Plan period, 10 million kilowatts of power will be transmitted from Yunnan and Guizhou to Guangdong. The large-scale West to East power transmission project of Nantong road was launched.

After the “five campaigns”, the task of sending 10 million kilowatts of power to Guangdong was completed ahead of schedule“ After the completion of the “five campaigns”, the total channel transmission capacity of China Southern Power Grid Corporation’s west power transmission to Guangdong reached 10.88 million kilowatts. By September 2004, all power grid projects of the “five campaigns” were successfully completed, 15 months ahead of the original plan. In the power system reform, China Southern Power Grid has been formed.

(7) The North China power grid is connected with the central China power grid to form a two China synchronous power grid

State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) proposed to build a 1000 kV high voltage AC transmission line from Southeast Shanxi to Jingmen, Hubei, so as to connect north China Power Grid and central China power grid into a large synchronous power grid, and then form the “Three China” synchronous power grid of North China, central China and East China. One advantage of this is that the thermal power from North China can be sent to central China in the dry season, and the hydropower from the Three Gorges and Sichuan Hydropower Stations in Central China can be sent to North China in the wet season.

However, the construction of 1000 kV high-voltage AC transmission project has caused controversy. Some people oppose the construction of 1000 kV high-voltage AC transmission project from Southeast Shanxi to Jingmen, Hubei, and the formation of “Sanhua” synchronous power grid. However, after repeated demonstration, the national development and Reform Commission reported to the State Council for approval and approved the construction of a 1000 kV high voltage AC transmission line from Shanxi to Jingmen in Hubei. At present, North China Power Grid and central China power grid have formed a large synchronous power grid. However, it is not strong enough to connect north China Power Grid with central China power grid only by a 1000kV high voltage.

(8) Construction of Qinghai Tibet network project

Building a road from Golmud, Qinghai ± Since then, the Tibet power grid has been connected with the Northwest Power Grid and no longer become an isolated network.

The Qinghai Tibet networking project has been repeatedly demonstrated and considered. Because of my work, I have been to Tibet many times. The first time I went was for the Manla Hydropower Station in Tibet. At that time, it was constructed by the hydropower unit of the armed police, and some problems occurred. At that time, Comrade Liu Yuan was political commissar of the hydropower unit of the armed police force. Due to the special geographical environment of Tibet, Tibet has always maintained a clean energy power market. There are no coal-fired power stations, and only a few emergency oil-fired units.

During the construction of the Qinghai Tibet railway, I considered that after the completion of the Qinghai Tibet railway, it would be possible to transport coal from the northwest to Tibet by railway. Could a coal-fired power station be built in Naqu? However, after careful consideration, it is better to maintain clean energy power in Tibet. In addition, the thin air on the Tibetan Plateau affected the output of thermal power plants, so the idea of building a coal-fired thermal power plant in Naqu was abandoned.

However, due to the poor wet and dry seasons of hydropower generation, Tibet is dominated by hydropower. There is no problem in the wet season, but there is a serious shortage of electricity in the dry season. We have mobilized China Resources Power to dismantle the oil and gas generating units built in Guangdong to Tibet to support the power construction in Tibet. However, the cost of generating electricity from oil fired power stations is very high, and the amount of electricity subsidies used for Tibet is very large every year. Even Li Benzhen, deputy director of the Tibet Autonomous Region Development and Reform Commission in charge of electricity, proposed that Tibet invest in power plants in Anhui and other places, and the income should be used as subsidies for Tibet’s electricity.

With the completion of the Qinghai Tibet railway, Tibet’s economic and social development has accelerated, and the problem of power shortage is more serious, especially in the dry season. After repeated argumentation, in order to solve the power supply problem in Tibet once and for all, the Qinghai Tibet interconnection project should be built. In dry season, the northwest power grid supplies power to Tibet; In the rainy season, if hydropower is further developed in Tibet in the future, surplus power can be supplied to the northwest.

However, the Qinghai Tibet networking project has been questioned by some experts who have never been to Tibet. They believe that the cost of the Qinghai Tibet interconnection is too high, and they advocate the construction of oil-fired units in Tibet, so there is no need to build the Qinghai Tibet interconnection project. They wrote to the leaders of the State Council, who then approved and passed on our arguments.

I asked the Department of electric power of the state energy administration to invite the objectors to visit Tibet. However, the Department of electric power suggested that the comrade should not visit Tibet because he is too old. Finally, we negotiated with the State Grid Corporation of China and decided to build the Qinghai Tibet interconnection project. Liu Zhenya, chairman of the State Grid Corporation of China, strongly supports the construction of the Qinghai Tibet interconnection project. In the long run, the State Grid Corporation of China proposes to build it ± 500 kV transmission and transformation lines.

But a new problem has arisen. After listening to the opinions of some people, the director of the Department of electric power of the national energy administration thinks that the construction of electric power should be strengthened ± The capacity of 500kV is too large, so it is unnecessary. It is suggested to reduce the voltage level and use ± 400 kV DC transmission. And I was wondering, ± Isn’t 500 kV a standard voltage level? Why do we need a new voltage level? The director told me that there is no standard voltage level for DC transmission, as many kilovolts as possible. It is estimated that he also listened to some experts.

In this way, the State Energy Administration and the State Grid Corporation have different opinions on what kind of voltage level to build, and they have been deadlocked for some time. Finally, I negotiated with Comrade Liu Zhenya. He said that in order to build the Qinghai Tibet interconnection project as soon as possible, the State Grid Company gave in and built it according to the opinions of the Energy Bureau ± 400 kV DC transmission line. After five years of argumentation, the Qinghai Tibet networking project has been put to the ground in controversy.

On July 29, 2010, we held a grand opening ceremony of the Qinghai Tibet network in Tibet and Golmud, Qinghai. Comrade Zhang Ping, then director of the national development and Reform Commission, and Comrade Liu Zhenya, chairman of the State Grid Corporation, attended the opening ceremony in Golmud. Li Keqiang, member of the standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice premier of the State Council, sent a congratulatory message. Zhang Qingli, Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region Party committee, and I, as well as Shu Yinbiao, general manager of State Grid Corporation, attended the commencement ceremony in Tibet.

(9) Connecting Xinjiang power grid with Northwest Power Grid

As early as before the reform of the power system, the State Grid Corporation of China was not established. Zhang Xiaolu, director of the science and Technology Department of the State Grid Corporation of China, was my graduate student. He reported to me that he wanted to upgrade the 330kV high-voltage transmission of the northwest power grid to 750kV high-voltage transmission. I have questioned whether the voltage level is too high? However, in view of the existing 330kV transmission lines in Northwest China, it is not appropriate to build 500kV or 1000kV Transmission lines, so we have to agree to upgrade the northwest power grid to 750kV high-voltage transmission network. On July 22, 2010, the wutuha 750 kV transmission project was completed, and the 750 kV transmission line from Hami to Yongdeng in Gansu Province was completed by the end of the year, realizing the connection between northwest power grid and Xinjiang power grid.

(10) Interconnection of internal power grids in Tibet Autonomous Region

Tibet power grid was initially developed from Lhasa and Xigaze, the two most important cities in Tibet. After the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1950, the central government initially dispatched personnel from Chongqing Electric Power Department to help Tibet carry out electric power construction. Lhasa and Xigaze regions are gradually connected to the central power grid of Tibet, and Shannan region is also connected to the central power grid of Tibet.

When I went to Tibet, the Linzhi, Changdu and Ali regions were all small independent power grids due to the distance. Later, taking advantage of the opportunity of rural power grid transformation, Lhasa and Linzhi power grids were connected together to form the central Tibet power grid in Lhasa, Xigaze, Shannan and Linzhi, the most important population and economic concentration areas in Tibet. However, due to the long distance between Changdu and Ali, it is still an independent small power grid.

(11) Power interconnection in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

The first is to connect Urumqi area and Korla area in southern Xinjiang into a power grid, and the power grid in Ili area is still independent. Later, through the construction of Qiafuqihai Water Control Project and Jilintai Hydropower Station, the transmission line was built from Kuitun to Yili area, forming a unified power grid interconnected in Xinjiang.

(12) Interconnection between Hainan Island and the mainland

Hainan island used to be an isolated power grid, not connected to Guangdong. China Southern Power Grid (CSG) has been set up in power system reform, covering Guizhou, Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan. Later, Comrade Wang Xiaofeng, who was then Secretary of the Hainan provincial Party committee, called Comrade Zeng Peiyan and said that Hainan Island is an independent power grid, and it has no substantive significance to enter the China Southern Power Grid. Only by connecting Hainan Island with Guangdong power grid can we really integrate into the China Southern Power grid.

Zeng Peiyan promised that after the establishment of China Southern Power Grid, the submarine cable from Zhanjiang to Haikou of Hainan will be built to physically connect Hainan with China Southern Power Grid. After the establishment of China Southern Power Grid, it fulfilled its promise. Although the cost was relatively high, it still built a 500kV submarine transmission line from Guangdong to Hainan. At present, the capacity is not very large, only 600000 kW. However, the connection between Hainan power grid and China Southern Power Grid has formed a unified interconnected power grid in all provinces except Taiwan Island.

On July 23, 2015, the second 500 kV cross sea AC interconnection project between China Southern Power Grid and Hainan power grid was officially approved by the national development and Reform Commission. After the completion of the interconnection secondary circuit project, the interconnection transmission capacity will reach 1.2 million kilowatts. Solving the problem of “large generator and small network” in Hainan power grid will help to improve the safe and economic operation of Changjiang nuclear power units and the safe and reliable operation capacity of Hainan power grid.

(13) Shandong, Fujian and other provinces are integrated into the large power grid

Due to the rapid economic development and power shortage in Shandong Province, Wangqu power station built in Shanxi Province supplied power to Shandong point-to-point network. Later, it was built from Ningdong of Ningxia to Qingdao of Shandong Province ± 660kV DC transmission line, Shandong power grid has been integrated into North China power grid. Fujian Province is connected with Zhejiang power grid and integrated into East China power grid.

(14) Power transmission of Jinshajiang hydropower base

Jinsha River originates from the Qinghai Tibet Plateau and flows into Yunnan Province. It is called the middle reaches of Jinsha River in Yunnan Province. The lower reaches of Jinsha River is the boundary river between Yunnan Province and Sichuan Province. In the lower reaches of Jinsha River, there are four large hydropower stations, Xiangjiaba, Xiluodu, Baihetan and Wudongde. The total installed capacity is close to that of the two three gorges. It is an important hydropower base in China.

At the time of Jinshajiang hydropower development planning, the power system had not been reformed, and it was under the unified management of the Ministry of hydropower. However, at the beginning of the construction of Jinshajiang hydropower base, two power grid companies, State Grid Corporation and China Southern Power Grid Corporation, have been formed. The State Grid Corporation of China hopes that the hydropower in the lower reaches of the Jinsha River can be absorbed by the State Grid Corporation of China, while Yunnan Province and China Southern Power Grid Corporation believe that the power of Yunnan Province has been included in China Southern Power Grid, and the power of generator units on the Yunnan side of the Jinsha River should be transmitted to Yunnan Province and China Southern Power Grid.

I convinced Comrade Liu Zhenya that according to this plan, the units on the right bank of Jinsha River will be sent to East China through the construction of upwardly direct current (from Xiangjiaba to Fengxian, Shanghai); The power on the left bank of Jinsha River is sent to Guangdong by China Southern Power Grid. Upward direct current is the first way of China’s construction ± 800 kV HVDC line.

Later, Brazil built the beautiful landscape power station, and the power was transmitted to Rio de Janeiro. The installed capacity and transmission distance of meilishan hydropower station are very close to upward DC. I invited Brazil’s energy minister to visit shangdc and accompanied him to visit Shanghai Fengxian substation, which aroused Brazil’s energy minister’s interest and asked him many questions. After many times of investigation, it was decided to adopt the Chinese model ± After unremitting efforts, State Grid won the investment in the construction of Brazil meilishan hydropower station to Rio de Janeiro ± 800 kV DC transmission line project.

(15) Power supply from the mainland to Hong Kong and Macao

As early as the construction of Daya Bay nuclear power station, China Power in Hong Kong was one of the major shareholders. A considerable part of the power of Daya Bay nuclear power station had to be sent to Hong Kong. The completion of Daya Bay nuclear power station has realized the power supply to Hong Kong. But there are still about 6 million kilowatts of coal-fired power plants in Hong Kong. The area of Hong Kong is small. Coal fired power plants not only have emission problems, but also coal yards and solid waste will occupy a certain area. The land resources of Hong Kong are very valuable.

At that time, Mr Yau was the Secretary for the environment of Hong Kong. They have a strong sense of environmental protection and plan to phase out the coal-fired power plants in Hong Kong. Mr. Qiu Tenghua has approached me many times in the hope of increasing the purchase of electricity from the mainland and gradually phasing out the coal-fired power plants in Hong Kong. After consulting the central government, the central government hopes that the Hong Kong SAR will maintain prosperity and stability and meet the requirements of Hong Kong as far as possible.

First, Hong Kong is worried that the supply of natural gas from the Yinggehai submarine pipeline in Hainan will gradually decrease, and hopes to extend the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Shenzhen to Hong Kong through the west east gas pipeline, so as to supply 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Hong Kong every year; The second requirement is to supply power to Hong Kong.

At that time, a liaison group on infrastructure construction between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao was set up, and I was responsible for the mainland. On August 28, 2008, entrusted by the central government, I signed a memorandum of understanding with the chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on the issue of gas and power supply in Hong Kong. The content of the memorandum is to supply gas and power to Hong Kong for 20 years.

At the same time, I also visited China power, which is mainly responsible for the power supply of the Kowloon Peninsula; He also visited Li Ka Shing’s HEC company, which supplies power to Hong Kong Island. Before that, only Zhonghua power invested in the Daya Bay nuclear power plant to purchase electricity from the mainland. This time, HEC also expressed interest in studying purchasing electricity from the mainland.

In consideration of the interests of Hong Kong investors and the existing Daya Bay and Ling’ao models, I also verbally promised to find a nuclear power plant in eastern Guangdong, initially in Shanwei, Shantou. Hong Kong is welcome to invest in the construction of a nuclear power plant supplying power to Hong Kong in a way similar to Daya Bay’s.

At the beginning, Hong Kong was very positive and considered nuclear power as clean energy. The reason why it is not mentioned to build another nuclear power unit in Daya Bay to supply power to Hong Kong is that there are six million kilowatt nuclear power units in this area. Unfortunately, the Fukushima nuclear accident occurred in early 2011, and the residents’ fear of nuclear power rose. The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was worried about the acceptance of Hong Kong residents. It began to keep a secret about purchasing nuclear power from the mainland and was no longer as active as it used to be. However, Hong Kong has not given up the idea of purchasing electricity from China Southern Power Grid, and the cost is cheaper than generating electricity in Hong Kong.

Macao mainly has oil-fired generating units, and its installed capacity is much smaller than that of Hong Kong. They have always been positive about purchasing electricity from the mainland. At that time, they said that they could consider giving up all oil-fired power generation and purchasing electricity from the mainland instead.

(16) The Internet connection between the mainland and Taiwan

Taiwan is short of energy resources. Its power generation mainly relies on fuel oil, gas and coal. At the same time, there are three nuclear power stations. Taiwan’s four nuclear issues are stranded because of political disputes between the two parties. Although the amount of nuclear waste produced by Taiwan’s three existing nuclear power plants is very small, it is stored in an island called Lanyu, and the designed reserves are almost full. However, because Taiwan has no nuclear waste treatment facilities, it has been looking for solutions.

There is still a lot of opposition to the construction of nuclear power plants in Taiwan. In fact, solving the problem of power supply in Taiwan is not complicated from a technical point of view. The distance from Pingtan in Fujian to Hsinchu in Taiwan is only about 140 km, which is not much longer than the submarine cable in Hainan Island. Therefore, it is completely possible to supply power from the mainland to Taiwan through submarine cable. The problem now is not a technical one, but a political one. As long as Taiwan has the will, this is not difficult to achieve.

4、 National networking still leaves regret

Fortunately, when I stepped down from the post of director of the Bureau of energy in early 2011, I realized the interconnection of China’s mainland power grid, but also left some regrets.

First, as two economically developed coastal provinces, Fujian and Guangdong have not been able to achieve interconnection. In order to solve the problem of power supply in Guangdong, I once proposed the problem of connecting Fujian power grid with Guangdong power grid, but later, due to the power system reform, State Grid Corporation and China Southern Power Grid Corporation were formed. Fujian power belongs to State Grid Corporation and Guangdong power belongs to China Southern Power Grid Corporation. In this way, the problem of grid connection between the two provinces has been shelved.

From the attitude of Fujian Province, Fujian Province is relatively positive, while Guangdong Province is not. In fact, State Grid and China Southern Power Grid are both state-owned enterprises. As long as the government is determined, it is not very difficult to realize the interconnection between Fujian and Guangdong.

Second, the mutual power supply between other regional power grids has been realized, but only the North China and East China power grids have not been connected by high-voltage power transmission, and cross regional power supply has not been realized. The reason is that the idea of building “Sanhua” power grid proposed by State Grid Corporation of China has been opposed by some people. In fact, the last thing left is the construction of power transmission and transformation lines from North China to East China.

Although I strongly advocate positive promotion, the individual of the Department of electric power of the national energy administration takes a warm attitude and has not handled it. The leaders of the previous government did not have a clear attitude in the face of constantly receiving letters of different opinions, so they were shelved again and again. Although China International Engineering Consulting Corporation later kicked the ball to China International Engineering Consulting Corporation, most of the experts in the expert review organized by China International Engineering Consulting Corporation agreed to build the UHV AC transmission line from North China to East China. However, the internal opinions of China International Engineering Consulting Corporation could not be unified. In the end, China International Engineering Consulting Corporation had to adopt a harmonious approach to build a 1000 kV AC transmission line from Xilinhot to Tai’an, Shandong Province, That is to say, Nanjing, East China, which is not built close by and needs electricity, is to avoid the formation of “Sanhua” power grid. At the same time, we agreed to build a road from Xilinhot to East China ± The purpose of such disposal is still to avoid the problem of forming “Sanhua” synchronous power grid.

This problem can only be solved by later generations, but I think it will be solved sooner or later just like Ningxi railway. At present, North China Power Grid and East China power grid are the only regional power grids that have not been connected and supplied each other, which is a great pity.

Looking back on the development process of China’s power grid, I feel a lot. Now in the vast territory, from the Qinghai Tibet Plateau, the roof of the world, to Hainan Island, the coast of the South China Sea, are covered by an interconnected power grid. This is a great century project. If you go to Tibet now, the bakuo street in Lhasa is bright at night, which is no different from the big cities in the mainland. When we go abroad to see the old power grids of some developed countries, we are really proud of our country’s construction achievements.

Editor in charge ajx

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