(ECNS) -- Baihetan Hydropower Station is a 16 GW facility under construction on the Jinsha River, a tributary of the Yangtze River in southwest China. Upon completion, it will be the world's second biggest hydropower station after the Three Gorges Dam.
The massive project straddles the Ningnan county in Sichuan Province and Qiaojia County in Yunnan Province. The station is expected to generate electricity by July 2021 and reach full operational capacity by July 2022.
"There are 16 hydraulic generators in the project, with eight on the left bank and eight on the right. Each unit can generate 1 million kilowatts per hour -- the daily electricity consumption of a small and medium-sized county with a population of 500,000," said Baihetan hydropower project manager Li Zhihong.
Six diversion bottom outlets were built on the dam. Water storage will start after the sluice gates of these diversion bottom outlets are closed. "The hydropower station stored water after the sluice gate closed on April 6," said Zhang Kui, chief engineer of Baihetan hydropower project.
According to Zhang, the water level of the dam is about 717 meters high at present and will reach 751 meters as expected by mid-to-early May. After commissioning is completed, it can officially generate electricity.