Sky’s The Limit For Tibetan Off-Grid Solar Farm

The roof of the world is the venue for a new off-grid solar project by the Chinese energy firm Trina Solar. The company has just announced plans to create a 2.1-megawatt (MW) solar farm in the Naqu region of Tibet.

The project, which will be developed alongside Tibetan energy company Longyuan New Energy, will be Trina’s largest off-grid project in China in recent years, following the construction of approximately 40 standalone power stations in 2002 in Tibet’s Chamdo region.


image via Osolar

Naqu is in northern Tibet and borders the Chinese provinces of Xinjiang and Qinghai. Situated at an altitude of around 15,000 feet, the territory is considered one of the most scenic parts of the mountain state, which is now a semi-autonomous region of China. The province contains basins, lakes, rivers and forests, and is one of the few crop-producing areas of Tibet.

More importantly from the point of view of solar, it has exceptional light levels, averaging 2,900 sunlight hours per year.

“We are very pleased to have been selected by Longyuan for the Naqu project,” Jifan Gao, Trina chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Quality irradiance in this highly elevated region underscores its suitability for such a project. We are committed to providing quality products and excellent service in implementing this project, which we believe can benefit the local population.”

Traditionally, Tibet has relied on hydroelectric resources for their power supply, but as the climate has been changing in recent years, severe droughts have impacted electricity production.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.

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