The State Grid Corporation of China is developing the 1.8GW Jixi pumped-storage hydropower facility in the Anhui province of China. Image courtesy of Anhui Jixi Pumped Storage Co., Ltd..
DongFang Electric Company supplied the turbine-generator sets for Jixi hydro power plant. Image courtesy of Wang Guohui.
Four of the six units of the Jixi pumped-storage hydropower station were commissioned by August 2020. Image courtesy of Anhui Jixi Pumped Storage Co., Ltd..

The Jixi pumped storage power station is a 1.8GW pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant under construction in the Anhui province of China.

State Grid Xinyuan Company, a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is developing the project with an estimated investment of £1.02bn ($1.61bn). The power station will comprise a total of six pumped storage units.

Construction on the project has been underway since January 2013. The first unit of the hydropower station was connected to the East China Power Grid in September 2019 before entering commercial operation in January 2020.

The second unit was commissioned in May 2020, followed by the subsequent units 3 and 4 in August 2020. The last two units are scheduled for commissioning by March 2021.

Once fully operational, the Jixi pumped storage hydropower station is expected to generate approximately 4.02 billion kWh of electricity annually.

Location and site details

The Jixi pumped storage hydro project is located in the Fuling town of Jixi county, Xuancheng city, Anhui province, China.

The project site lies in the mountainous area of southern Anhui, approximately 140km away from Hangzhou, 210km from Nanjing, and 240km from Hefie.

Jixi pumped storage hydro power station make-up

The Jixi pumped storage hydroelectric facility comprises an upper and a lower reservoir connected via a 16km-long road, and an underground powerhouse equipped with six 300MW reversible Francis pump-turbine units operating at a water head of  600m. The underground powerhouse is accessed through a 350m-deep tunnel.

During peak energy demand, water from the upper reservoir is released to the power station through a two-hole open spillway for generating electricity. Water is discharged into the lower reservoir after power generation. When electricity demand is low, water is pumped back to the upper reservoir using pump-generators for storage.

A concrete-face rock-fill dam with a maximum height of 117.7m forms the upper reservoir, which has a design storage capacity of 10.69 million cubic metres (mcm), of which 8.67mcm is usable. The normal storage level is 961m, the dam crest elevation is 966.2m, and the wave wall crest elevation is 964.7m.

Located on the northern tributary of the Dengyuan River, the lower reservoir is also formed by a concrete-face rock-fill dam with a storage level of 340m. The dam crest elevation is 343m and the crest length is 480m.

The plant’s water diversion system is arranged in a three-hole and six-machine layout comprising the upper reservoir inlet/outlet. The tailwater system is based on the lower reservoir inlet/outlet comprising three holes and six machines.

Power evacuation 

The electricity generated by the Jixi pumped-storage hydropower facility is evacuated through three 500kV power transmission lines.

The transmission lines will connect to a 500kV gas-insulated substation (GIS) switchyard from the transformer tunnel. 

Contractors involved

China Gezhouba Group Mechanical & Electrical Construction was contracted for the electrical and mechanical equipment installation works as well as the construction of the powerhouse.

Dongfang Electric Machinery Company received a contract for the supply of hydro turbine generators sets and ancillary equipment in March 2015.

China Water Resources and Hydropower Fifth Hydropower Bureau was contracted for civil construction and metal structure installation works for the upper and the lower reservoirs of the power station in June 2014.

Jiangxi Hydropower Steel Structure Company produced all hydraulic metal structures for the gates of the power plant, while GGB supplied HPMB fibre reinforced composite bearings. 

Jixi pumped-storage power plant background

The design of the project was started in 2008 while a feasibility study was approved in September 2011.

SGCC and the government of Anhui province signed a cooperation agreement for the joint development of the Jixi pumped storage hydropower station in December 2009.

The project was approved by both the 216th executive meeting of the State Council and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in 2012. Its groundbreaking ceremony was held in January 2013.

It forms part of the 861 Action Plan of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development in the Anhui province.

The project was financed by State Grid Xinyuan Company, Anhui Electric Power Company, Jiangsu Electric Power Company, Shanghai Electric Power Company, and the governments of Xuancheng and Jixi counties.

The Jixi hydropower plant aims to serve the East China Power Grid and take part in grid power peak shaving, valley filling, and emergency backup. It will also promote the interconnection of energy facilities in the Yangtze River delta.

The project is expected to reduce coal consumption by 216,000 tonnes (t) and offset the emissions of carbon dioxide by 475,000t, nitrogen oxide by 10,790t, and sulphur dioxide by 28,790t annually.