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The State Grid Corp. of China, the country's near-monopoly power distributor, has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with General Electric Co. (GE) and the Chinese Academy of Science to jointly develop smart grid standards.
The three entities will cooperate in the standardization of technologies in areas including electric-vehicle charging and integration of large power-storage systems, the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said on its website Monday.
State Grid has said it wants to build a nationwide "strong smart grid" by 2020 to increase electricity transmission capacity from coal-rich inland provinces to the power-hungry coast, and to improve the grid's ability to absorb more of the variable amounts of power generated by wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.
China currently has no national standards or technical specifications for smart grid implementation.
Coal meets two-thirds of China's power needs, and the government wants most new thermal power plants to be built at mine mouths to ease bottlenecks in the country's transportation network and pollution near major cities, so it will need to develop ways to store that power and deliver it efficiently over long distances.
The smart grid will be based on the current national grid, including ultra-high voltage power transmission lines. State Grid will invest CNY500 billion over the next five years to extend its UHV transmission system, according to the state-controlled Xinhua news agency.
-Jing Yang contributed to this article; Dow Jones Newswires; (8621) 6120 1200; firstname.lastname@example.org