The 50-megawatt power station is located in Naomaohu Township, eastern Xinjiang's city of Hami. Construction of the project began in October 2017 by Energy China.
The project can achieve an annual power supply of 198.3 million kWh, saving 61,900 tonnes of standard coal annually, which is equivalent to reducing emissions of about 61.89 tonnes of sulfur dioxide, 61.89 tonnes of nitrogen oxides, 19.84 tonnes of soot and 154,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The solar thermal power station adopts a "light-heat-electricity" power generation mode. The project works by using tens of thousands of mirrors to concentrate sunlight on a receiver at the top of the tower to create a temperature above 800 degrees Celsius.
Steam with a temperature of over 500 degrees Celsius will then be generated through the heat transfer medium to drive a turbine to produce electricity.
The station is able to generate power 24/7 through the use of molten salt that absorbs the heat, allowing the station to maintain the high temperature, even without a constant stream of sunlight.
In contrast to photovoltaic panels that cannot generate electricity at night and can easily be affected by weather changes, the solar thermal power station can generate power steadily with lower cost and higher efficiency, said Zhang Yanli with the State Grid's Hami branch.