China-based developer, Panda Green Energy Group Ltd plans to set up a 1 GW hybrid project in China that combines solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal power generation with energy storage and hydrogen production. The estimated cost of the project is around RMB 10 billion.

The minimum installed capacity of the facility is agreed to be 1,000 MW, but its final scale is yet to be determined based on factors such as local energy policies, land availability and on-grid energy consumption. The installed capacity in the first phase has been decided to be not less than 500 MW.

The company has signed a memorandum of cooperation for the project with the local government of Manasi County, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the agreement will lapse if work is not begun in earnest within a year. The plan, which is pending certain authorisations and the signing of a formal deal, calls for Panda Green Energy to develop, finance and manage the energy integrated demonstration complex in Manasi County.

REGlobal’s views: The clean hydrogen industry is currently very small, and costs are high. There is a significant potential for costs to fall, but the use of hydrogen needs to be scaled up and a network of supply infrastructure created. The said 1-GW project is, therefore, a step in the right direction and will set precedent and learnings for many more such projects to come.