BEIJING China will start up its first batch of 20 solar thermal power projects online by 2018, said the National Energy Administration(NEA) on Wednesday.
The projects with a total capacity of 1.35 gigawatt are concentrated in the five provinces that receive the most sunlight in the nation, Qinghai, Gansu, Hebei, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, said the NEA.
Solar thermal power plant use solar arrays to heat water that produces steam that runs turbines to produce electricity.
Power plants operators such as China General Nuclear Power Group, China Huaneng Group [HUANP.UL], China Guodian Corp [CNGUO.UL] and Zhejiang Supcon Solar Technology Co are involved, said the NEA.
These projects will collect a higher price from grid operators than traditional solar projects using photovoltaic cells at 1.15 yuan ($0.17) per kilowatt hour.
But that price level will be reduced in 2019 in accordance with the industry's development, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in a statement released earlier this month.
(Reporting By Kathy Chen and David Stanway; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)