China’s State Grid Corp., the national transmission and distribution body that commercially deployed a 1,000-kV ultra-high-voltage (UHV) AC demonstration project 640 kilometers long in January, has reportedly said it will now build 17,600 km of UHV lines by 2012.

Lu Jian, head of the company’s development and strategic planning department, told attendees at the 2nd Annual Power Transmission and Distribution Summit in Beijing on Thursday that it would at least triple the lines in use by the grid and under construction to boost its trans-regional power transmission, Reuters reported last week.

State Grid Corp. had announced in February that it had entered into commercial service a 1,000-kV UHV AC project (and 800 kV in DC) totally developed in China—including research and development, design, and construction.

“This project marks China’s major breakthrough in long-distance, large-capacity, low-loss UHV core technology and localization of power equipment. It also carries great significance for the optimization of energy resource allocation, and protection of national energy security and power supply,” the company said.

The Jindongnan-Nanyang-Jingmen UHC project, which began at the end of 2006, connects the North China Power Grid and Central China Power Grid, starting from Jindongnan Substation in the coal-rich Shanxi Province. It passes through Nanyang Switch Station in Henan Province, and ends at Jingmen Substation in hydropower-abundant Hubei Province. The State Grid Corp. said that the transmission capacity at each end is 3,000 MVA.

According to The China Daily, the project cost 5.7 billion yuan ($832 million), unadjusted for inflation. The newspaper noted that similar UHV power lines were previously developed in Russia and Japan, but the technology was not widely used owing to relatively weak demand.

During the construction period, State Grid said it had carried out in-depth research on more than 200 key UHCV technical issues and made breakthroughs in the fields of voltage standards, electromagnetic environment, overvoltage and insulation coordination, reactive voltage control, lightning-proof technology, high-altitude operation, and large grid control. It said it had mastered the core UHV power transmission and transformation technologies through these efforts.

The China Daily said that the State Grid Corp. would invest 83 billion yuan ($12.11 billion) in UHV transmission lines in 2009 and 2010. About 57 billion yuan ($8.32 billion) would be spent on UHV AC lines, and 26 billion yuan ($3.78 billion) would be poured into UHV DC transmission lines.

Sources: Reuters, State Grid Corp. of China, The China Daily