The Wudongde (WDD) project is the seventh largest hydropower station in the world, and has the largest capacity single unit in operation. Now, under a year after the commissioning of the first unit, all units are connected to the grid and in commercial operation.
On schedule, the last unit, the last of six 850 MW Francis turbine generator sets and related equipment supplied by GE Renewable Energy, has been successfully connected to the grid and has completed 72 hours of trial operation. Under the contract signed in 2015, GE was responsible for the design, engineering, manufacturing, erection supervision and commissioning of the six generator sets. At 850 MW, these are the world's largest units ever used in a hydropower plant.
The first unit was connected to the grid in July 2020. The power plant is located in the lower reaches of Jinsha River, and with a total installed capacity of 10 200 MW is an essential part of the West-East Power Transmission project, by which China is developing power resources in the western region and sending electricity to provinces in the East including Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Beijing where the electricity supply is in most demand. It is estimated that energy produced by the WDD plant will save about 12.2 million tons of standard coal per year and reduce emissions of 30.5 million tons of carbon dioxide as well as 104 000 tons of sulphur dioxide.
Wudongde is already the third joint large-scale national energy infrastructure project of the China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) and GE Renewable Energy on a national level. The Three Gorges Project was connected to the grid in 2008, followed by the Xiangjiaba hydropower plant, which was completed in 2014.
To realise the project, GE has upgraded local hydropower production capacity. Among other things, the company has managed the project from its site in Tianjin, China, where most of the components were also manufactured. The parts were then assembled at a specially built and dedicated on-site facility in Wudongde. This remote workshop helped improve logistical efficiency while maintaining the required quality standards.