The plant will focus sunlight onto a central tower for power generation. This type of system is designed to provide higher efficiency and better energy storage than the more commonly used trough system.
Qinghai Solar-Thermal Power Group’s plant will occupy 2,550ha of the Gobi Desert at an altitude 2,870m above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. There will be an installed capacity of 200MW - enough to supply electricity to a million households.
The plant, which will cut coal use by more than four million tonnes a year, is also set to be China's first large-scale solar power plant under commercial operation.