Beijing [China]: The Chinese government has denied compensation for residents, including Tibetan nomads, affected by the construction of the world’s largest hydro-solar plant, residents living near the plant told Radio Free Asia (RFA).
Radio Free Asia is a United States government-funded private non-profit news service that broadcasts radio programs and publishes online news.
As per Chinese state media, the Kela mega hydro-photovoltaic complementary power station began full operation on Sunday. The sprawling solar plant which covers 16 million square meters, or more than 2,000 soccer fields, has a hydropower component that helps stabilize energy supply due to shifting weather conditions.
It is capable of generating two billion kilowatt-hours each year, and can fully charge 15,000 electric vehicles with a range of 550 kilometres (340 miles) in just one hour.
Nomadic Tibetans who once grazed their cattle in the area now covered by a sea of solar panels were forced away and offered nothing in return, a Tibetan resident living near Kela told the RFA.
“The Chinese government has begun operating the largest solar power station along with the hydropower dams in Nyakchu county in Kardze [in Chinese, Ganzi] beginning June 24,” the resident said, referring to a separate hydropower project.
“In order to build and facilitate these power plants, the Chinese government has displaced the local Tibetans in these regions in a land-grab and has not given any compensation yet,” he said as per RFA.
The resident said that the displaced Tibetans were never informed before the project started.
The nomads had filed complaints with the Chinese government to no avail, another Tibetan resident said.
“In April this year, the local Tibetans pleaded with the Chinese authorities to stop these projects. However it is very clear that no opposition to displacement and resettlement is possible and that local Tibetans have no choice but to comply with the government’s orders,” he said as per RFA.