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Cost cutting China hydroelectric power project wins US innovation award

Hydro power project firm HydroChina Zhongnan Engineering wins Be Inspired Award from Bentley Systems in US for cutting plant design and construction costs

HydroChina Zhongnan Engineering won the award for cutting costs in design and construction for hydro power plants

A hydroelectric power project in China has won a US innovation award for cutting costs in plant design and construction. HydroChina Zhongnan Engineering Corporation, a leading company in the planning, investigation, and design of hydro power projects, has announced its standard design and application for the pumped storage power station project in Zunyi, China, has won a 2012 Be Inspired Award from US software solutions firm Bentley Systems.

The news follows other China firms winning innovation awards for their developments in renewable energy technology this year. This includes China wind power firm Goldwind, which in April announced it had received awards for its wind turbine technology during the first quarter of 2013.

Bentley said the Be Inspired awards honour the "extraordinary" work of the company's users improving and sustaining the world's infrastructure, recognising outstanding and innovative project achievements in infrastructure design, construction, and operations. Winners are selected on their success in factors such as improving efficiency, reducing cost, while sustaining and expanding aging power generation plants.

HydroChina Zhongnan Engineering Corporation won in the Innovation in Power Generation category of the awards. The category recognises innovative projects including across renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric power.

To win the award HydroChina Zhongnan said it created standardised designs for large-scale pumped storage hydro power stations, moving from one-off designs for each project to repeatable schemes for power generation units with capacities of 4 by 300MW and 6 by 300MW. The collaborative process produced a 3D information model that will be applied to the design, construction, and management of future pumped storage hydro power stations, with a total design cost savings of more than USD 1.57m for each project. Thousands of man-days for each project will also be saved through a 90 per cent reduction in design errors and shortening of project feasibility studies from six months to four months, the company said.