China to Standardize Overheated Wind Farm Construction

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"About 30% of China's wind turbines are not connected to the grid, making for lopsided resource development."

China's National Energy Bureau (NEB) is drafting new regulations to standardize the examination and approval of small wind farm projects, industry sources said.

According to the rules, estimated to be promulgated in the first half of this year, local governments must first win approval of the NEB before they give licenses to wind farm projects that are smaller than 50MW each.

This move will cool down China's wind power industry that has become overheated in recent years, industry experts said.

At present, China's local governments have the power to approve wind farm projects smaller than 50MW each in installed capacity, after they put the projects on record with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Wind farm projects larger than 50MW each shall be approved by the NDRC.

To have their projects approved by local governments, which are easier and faster than the approval of the central government, some wind farm operators segment their wind farm projects into multiple stages, with each smaller than 50MW. As a result, China has countless 49.5MW wind farms across the country.

To date, only about 10% of the 60GW wind farm projects reported by local governments are examined and approved by the NDRC.

Those projects not approved by the NDRC will possibly not be included in the national plan for grid-access. It is one of the important reasons why the grid and wind farms do not develop in harmony.

So far, about 30% wind turbines are not connected to the grid in China.

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