TYPICAL SOLAR FARMS ALIGN THEIR SOLAR ARRAYS IN ROWS TO FORM A GRID. A PLANT IN DATONG, CHINA, HOWEVER, DECIDED TO HAVE A LITTLE FUN WITH THEIR DESIGN.
China Merchants New Energy Group, one of China’s largest clean energy operators, built a 248-acre solar farm in the shape of a giant panda. Yes, a giant panda.
In a display of China’s commitment to ramping up renewable energy resources, the country just finished a 248-acre solar farm in the shape of a panda. The effort is partially a PR campaign as China continues to lead the world in renewable energy investment.
The first phase of the solar power plant was completed in 2018, adding 50MW (of the total 100MW) to the electricity grid in Datong, China. The panda-shaped plant was proposed in May of 2016 by Panda Green Energy’s largest shareholder, China Merchants New Energy. It was quickly approved as a way to build support for sustainable energy development with Chinese youth.
THE BASICS OF SOLAR
There are three general types of solar panels used in the world today: Monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline, and thin film. The first two are generally more common, with polycrystalline panels the most popular for residential solar panels in America.
The 100-megawatt panda farm is capable of generating electricity for more than 10,000 households each year. It is projected to replace burning 1 million tons of coal in the next two decades.
The firm has been investing in and running solar power plants in China’s major solar hubs such as Xinjiang and Qinghai province, as well as some solar projects in Britain.
Shanxi aims to install 12 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2020 versus 1.13 GW installed in 2015.
Although the first photo is an artist rendering, the second is a Google Maps shot of the real solar farm.
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