SunTech Power Holdings is planning on building a major solar power installation at one of the highest inhabited places on the planet: the Tibetan Plateau. The county of Sangri, 4000m (13,123ft) above sea level, has been chosen as the site for the latest of this company’s green power plants, and will generate around 20MWh of power yearly for the surrounding area.
In areas like this, power is not always generated at a major regional installation like a nuclear or coal plant, and relying on hydroelectric power depends on weather patterns that are more prone to long-term failure (e.g. drought) than something like solar. Suntech has donated dozens of these solar systems to the community; the founder and CEO says:
We’re proud to invest in preserving the region’s fragile ecosystem by providing an economically-viable and sustainable solution for electricity generation. From the desert sands of Arizona to the peaks of the Himalayas, anyone can look up and harness nature’s cleanest and most abundant energy resource.
And he notes that the extremely high plateau provides an excellent environment for solar: low moisture and temperatures, but intense sunlight. Good for these guys; distributed, medium-size power grids like this are a great way to both improve living conditions in remote areas and advance the science and presence of renewable energy solutions.