Ningxia province launched a solar power plant on a trial basis Tuesday in the province’s capital Yinchuan, Xinhua
reported. The US$3.27 million (RMB22.39 million) plant is capable of generating 680,000 kilowatt hours of energy a year and will save 305 tons of standard coal, 4.27 tons of sulfur dioxide and 1.09 tons of nitrogen oxide annually. It is the biggest solar plant in northwestern China. Twenty years of meteorological statistics show the province receives 2,195-3,082 hours of sunshine a year, or 50-69% of available sunshine hours. The plant uses solar batteries made of monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon, which the province already produces to international standard. Ningxia also plans to establish an assembly line capable of producing 10,000 tons of high purity silicon per year and two lines capable of producing 1,000 tons of polycrystalline silicon per year by 2010 for use in battery production.