China Solar Installations Double Despite Delay in Sales to Grid

China more than doubled the amount of solar capacity it installed in the first nine months of the year even though sales of electricity from some projects was halted because of congestion on the distribution grid.

The nation added 9.9 gigawatts of solar power in the period through Sept. 30 compared with 3.79 gigawatts a year earlier, according to data from the National Energy Administration released Tuesday. A 10th of the nation’s solar capacity sat idle during the period.

China is struggling to integrate surging supplies from renewable plants into the grid as the government spurs the industry as an alternative to more polluting fuels like coal and natural gas. Authorities either delay hooking new plants to the grid or idle facilities whose output can’t be managed.

Gansu province had 28 percent of its solar out of service, the highest rate for idled solar plants, the NEA said in a statement on its website. The rate for Xinjiang, which has the most installed capacity of the nation, was 20 percent.

China now has a total of almost 38 gigawatts of solar-power supply, the NEA said.

— With assistance by Feifei Shen

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