Water from ancient glaciers generates power in Xinjiang


August 16, 2010

In mid-August, after half a year of installations and adjustments, the first hydroelectric unit of the Xinjiang Xiabandi Water Control Project was officially combined to the grid, signifying the large-scale use of runoff from 1-million-year-old glaciers on the Pamirs Plateau for power generation in Xinjiang, according to China Daily.

The Xiabandi Water Control Project officially began construction in April 2006 and is located in the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County with an average altitude of 3,050 meters above sea-level, and less than 100 kilometers from the border between China and Tajikistan.

The national key project has been planned since the mid-1980s and has a total investment of 1.9 billion yuan, a total storage capacity of 867 million cubic meters and a total installed capacity of 150,000 kilowatts.

It is one of the mountain water control projects of China's highest altitude and will be responsible for the spring water supply, ecological water supplement and power generation of the Southwestern Tarim Basin.

According to the Xinjiang water conservancy department, after the project is completed, it can replace the water-storing functions of the 16 plain reservoirs in the lower reaches of the Tarim River, effectively improve the local overall production capacity of agriculture, improve the ecological environment of Tarim River, and relieve the severe problem of electric-power shortage in Kashi, Kezilesu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture and some other border areas.