Muchang, Haosanka and Xichang Hydroplants

These run-of-river small hydro stations each have an installed capacity of 25 MW, and boast significant sustainable attributes. They promote economic development and contribute to sustainable development in their respective regions. They are located in the Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefectures, two of China’s eight autonomous prefectures.

Yunnan Province & Sichuan Province, China




Environmental, Local impact

Producing electricity since

2019, 2018, 2020


Zhenkangxiangyuan Hydropower Development Co. Ltd., - Yingjiang County Chuangneng Hydropower Development Co. Ltd., - Xichang City Jinhua Hydropower Development Co. Ltd.

Estimated annual generation

90 GWh

Total capacity

<75 MW

Access to sustainably produced energy is one of the most pressing socio-economic and environmental issues in the world, but power sources such as small hydro power plants are part of the solution. In fact, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization describes small hydropower as a “key building block” towards development goals around sustainability and the eradication of poverty.

Indeed, small hydro is widely considered more sustainable than large hydro because the smaller installations are less disruptive to the immediate surroundings. Run-of-the-river hydro has little to no water storage, thus doing away with the need for large reservoirs. Small hydro projects are thus becoming increasingly favoured by environmentally-conscious developers and consumers.

Muchang Power Station

The Muchang hydro power plant is located at the Nanpian River drainage basin, within the territory of Zhenkang County, Lincang, southwestern frontier of China. It has an installed capacity of <25MW, and was commissioned in 2019. 

Zhenkang County is located in the west of the Yunnan province, and borders Myanmar to the west. It receives 570mm of precipitation per year on average, peaking in the summer months (June-August).

Haosanka First Cascade Power Station

Haosanka First Cascade Power Station is located in Yingjiang County in the Dehong Autonomous Prefecture. The dam site is located in the upper reaches of the Haosanka River, just 500m away from Tongbiguan Nature Reserve. It is a run-of-river head installation station and was commissioned in 2018.

The Tongbiguan Nature Reserve supports a wide and unique array of flora and fauna. Not only is this area home to the largest patch of dipterocarp rainforest in China, its Nabang Wetlands are a world-renowned bird haven. Various species of lapwing, kingfisher, and starling – among many more – are known to nest there.

Tongbiguan is the only confirmed breeding site of the great hornbill, wreathed hornbill and great slaty wodpecker in all of China.

Xichang Hydroplant

The Xichang hydro power station, commissioned in 2020, is located in the mountainous southwest of the Sichuan Province, and is the capital of Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture. The area is known for its beautiful natural scenery, charming local customs and modern aerospace tourism. Thanks to its location at a low latitude and high altitude, it boasts little pollution and high visibility.

Situated in the subtropical monsoon climatic zone, the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture has a humid, subtropical climate and experiences distinct wet and dry seasons. Winter there is typically temperate and very dry, while summer is wet and rainy – about 90% of the rain falls in summer, from June to September.