The Zhanatas 100 MW Wind Power Plant in Kazakhstan, which has the largest installed capacity of any project of its kind in Central Asia, went into full operation on June 20, when its last turbine was connected to the power grid.
It is expected to provide South Kazakhstan with 350 million kilowatt-hours of clean power annually, meeting the domestic demands of 1 million households. According to Guo Qiang, general manager of the Zhanatas Wind Power Corporation, the power generated will be equivalent to an annual reduction of about 109,500 tons of standard coal.
Thermal power generation accounts for more than 80 percent of total power generation in Kazakhstan and is mainly based in the northern regions, which are rich in coal resources. However, power consumption in southern Kazakhstan is about 70 percent of the total power demand of the country. Therefore, power had to be transferred from the north to the south.
South Kazakhstan, however, is actually home to rich renewable energy resources. How to make the full use of such resources became key in terms of meeting the country's power demand and improving its simply-structured and unbalanced energy situation.
Under the framework of China's Belt and Road Initiative and Kazakhstan's Bright Road new economic policy, State Power Investment Corporation Limited (SPIC) began to cooperate with the Kazakhstan-based Visor on wind power development, and the Zhanatas 100 MW Wind Power Project was selected as part of China-Kazakhstan production capacity work on Feb 26, 2016.
Construction of the project began on July 15, 2019. Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, the first turbines went into operation in September 2020. A financing agreement was signed in October the same year.
During construction, the company also played its role in fulfilling social responsibilities in those regions where the project is located. It helped with house renovations for poverty-stricken families and green park construction in urban areas. It also donated a new ambulance to the local hospital.