Located in Chek Kang village in the Sangri County, Shannan Prefecture, Tibet, the solar power plant will be one of the highest on earth at around 4,000 meters above sea level. With target completion by the middle of the 2011, the facility will generate around 20,000MWh of renewable electricity per year to help facilitate sustainable economic development in Tibet.
Historically, the mountainous region has relied heavily on hydroelectric resources for much of its baseload power production. However, shifting weather patterns in recent years have caused more frequent droughts and reduced water volumes in hydroelectric reservoirs. These changes have led to peak power shortages that are an impediment to the region's continued economic growth. The new 10MW solar power plant will help to alleviate peak power shortages and serve as a strong complement to existing hydroelectric resources.
"With intense sunlight and cool temperatures, Tibet is extremely well-suited for the utilization of advanced photovoltaic technology," said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's Founder, Chairman and CEO. "We're proud to invest in preserving the region's fragile ecosystem by providing an economically-viable and sustainable solution for electricity generation. From the desert sands of Arizona to the peaks of the Himalayas, anyone can look up and harness nature's cleanest and most abundant energy resource."
Suntech has been active in rural electrification projects in Tibet. Over the last few years, Suntech has donated more than fifty independent solar systems for schools, community centers, and houses throughout the region. In 2008, Suntech installed a solar system at Mt. Everest base camp to provide trekkers with clean and reliable access to power. In gratitude, a team of mountaineers carried a Suntech flag to the very peak of the world.
"As we approach grid parity, we're seeing a groundswell of appetite for multi-megawatt projects in Asia and emerging markets around the world. I'm confident that China will really turn some heads this year and perhaps even become a gigawatt market," said Dr. Zhengrong Shi. "In this exciting transitional period, we will continue to diversify our global footprint to drive solar industry growth everywhere under the sun."