30 years of power evolution in Pudong
When Pudong New Area in Shanghai is praised for its rapid growth over the past three decades, the electric power sector should be singled out for its huge contribution to the area's development.
Four 500 kilovolt substations, 30 220 kV substations, 40 110 kV substations, 186 35 kV substations and numerous smaller stations have formed a highly reliable power grid, keeping Pudong running at full speed.
Thirty years ago, however, there were only four 110 kV substations and 28 110 kV substations in the area.
"It was not a lack of capability, but a lack of need," said Pan Bo, general manager of the Pudong branch of State Grid Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Company.
In 1990, annual electric power consumption in Pudong was 2.52 billion kilowatt-hour, with a maximum load of 415,600 kW. In 2019, the numbers were 34.77 billion kWh and 7.21 million kW, respectively.
As investors flooded into Pudong and skyscrapers began springing up in the early 1990s, the power company began accelerating the construction of power supply infrastructure, with more than 10 substations being completed and put into use within one year.
"Now Pudong's electric power network is able to detect problems and 'self-heal' within mere seconds. The power supply reliability is 99.99 percent," said Pan.
People no longer have to prepare candles in the event of a power failure. Nor do they have to queue up to pay bills, thanks to an array of online payment services.
In March, a "power keeper" service system was introduced in the Zhangjiang area, aiming to improve power-related services for individuals, companies, government departments, and the overall market.
The system has been connected to the "city brain" – Shanghai's digital public service platform – helping the government revive the economy amid the novel coronavirus outbreak through data analysis.