On 7th July 2003, the trial operation of the first power generating unit of China's Three Gorges project was completed successfully, with the controversial scheme finally beginning to generate power.

The generating unit, known as the No 2 unit, will complete a 30-day period of generating power for the Central China and East China Power Grids before commencement of commercial production.

The successful trial came after a failed attempt, beginning 1 July, which lasted only 68 hours, instead of the 72 hours required – failure of a sensor in a water purification system providing cooling water to the unit was found to have caused a shutdown of the operation.

During the trial operation, it was reported that the units have generated 86MkWh for the grids.