China’s first molten salt solar thermal power plant has started to send electricity to the grid, said the developer based in north China’s Tianjin municipality on Sunday.

Known as concentrated solar power, solar thermal energy is believed to be the next generation of solar energy, and an ideal green power source for energy-hungry countries like China.


The Tianjin Binhai Concentrating Solar Power Investment Co. Ltd. said its 50-megawatt molten salt trough project in Akesai in northwest China’s Gansu Province shows the maturity of the commercial development of solar thermal technology.

Guan Jingdong, chair of the company, said that the company will carry out large-scale production with the technology in 2018, when it is scheduled to produce facilities with 200,000 kilowatts of annual solar power output.


Molten salt solar thermal plants can harness solar energy by using molten salt as a heat transfer medium.

The Akesai plant was among 20 demonstration solar thermal plants listed for construction by China’s National Energy Administration in September as the government eyes the potential of renewable energy.