The China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has begun the construction of the country’s largest offshore solar farm at Haibin harbour in the city of Lianyungang in Jiangsu Province, the Global Times has reported.

With a capacity of 2GW, the photovoltaic (PV) demonstration farm is being built with an investment of 9.88bn yuan ($1.39bn).

It is expected to save 680,000 tonnes of standard coal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.77 million tonnes annually.

The solar farm is part of the country’s efforts to increase clean and renewable energy generation to support the rapid economic development of its coastal provinces.

The facility is currently the largest layered sea-based solar farm in China, covering an approved sea area of 1,868 hectares.

Situated near the Tianwan nuclear power plant in Lianyungang, the project utilises the warm seawater area designated for the plant’s discharge, while the adjacent area is allocated for offshore PV construction. This design promotes the integrated use of marine resources.

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The 2GW tidal flat PV project consists of offshore and onshore sections. The offshore part includes solar power generation systems, with electricity transmitted to an onshore substation through an overhead corridor bridge.

After voltage adjustment, the power is integrated into the state grid. The onshore energy storage component is nearing completion and will be operational by the end of June 2024.

The connection of the project to the state grid is scheduled for September 2024, with full capacity online by 2025.

Over its 25-year lifespan, the farm is projected to produce an average of 2.234 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually, sufficient to meet the needs of 230,000 people.

The Global Times quoted Xiamen University’s China Center for Energy Economics Research director Lin Boqiang: “The project serves as an important demonstration for offshore solar power generation.

“The project’s key advantage lies in its proximity to the market where electricity demand is significant.”

“Given that the southeastern coastal areas are among China’s fastest-developing regions with high electricity demand, the potential for offshore solar farms remains substantial.”