The State Grid Corp. of China has begun construction of an 800-kV ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission line that will run 2,210 kilometers (1,373 miles) from Hami Prefecture in China’s western province of Xinjiang to the north-central industrial city of Zhengzhou. When completed in 2014, the $3.7 billion line will have a transmission capacity of 8 GW.

On Monday, China also kicked off construction of a second 750-kV UHVDC line that will link Xinjiang to the main network of the Northwest China Grid. That 2,180-km-long line will carry wind and solar power generated in Hami prefecture, Gansu province, and Qinghai province to the rest of the country when it is complete in 2013.

According to the state-owned China Daily, China’s Xinjiang province, which borders Mongolia, has 2 trillion tons of coal reserves, a third of which is in the eastern prefecture of Hami. Hami is also one of the country’s major wind power bases. China’s major power load centers, however, are in eastern and central regions. The lines are a "way out" for the country’s imbalanced distribution of energy reserves," said Zhang Guobao, director of Expert Advisory Committee under the National Energy Administration.

Sources: POWERnews, State Grid Corp. of China, China Daily