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China's Cutest Solar Power Farm

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source: inhabitat.com

Who says solar panel installations can’t be adorable? The Panda Power Plant in Datong, China is shaped like the country’s treasured animal – and the first phase offers 50 megawatts (MW) of clean energy. Panda Green Energy installed the array under an agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to advocate for renewable energy. The first phase of the giant panda solar station was just connected to the grid.

There’s a new contender for the cutest solar farm in the world: the Panda Power Plant, which will have an aggregate installed capacity of 100 MW. The black parts of the panda, such as the ears and arms, will be comprised of monocrystalline silicone solar cells, with the grey and white tummy and face composed of thin film solar cells.

In addition to providing clean electricity, the panda solar stations are part of an effort to promote sustainable development among China’s young people. A youth activity center at the Panda Power Plant targeted at schoolchildren will detail the benefits of solar power.

The 100 MW Panda Power Plants will be able to offer 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of green power in 25 years, according to the company, saving 1.056 million tons of coal and reducing carbon emissions by 2.74 million tons.

Panda Green Energy plans to install more panda plants in the upcoming five years as part of their Panda 100 Program in Belt and Road areas, which are part of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s economic development strategy also known as the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road. As the strategy is targeted at cooperation among Eurasian countries, some of the panda plants could be built outside China.

The UNDP also plans to promote renewable energy in China with China Merchants New Energy, the largest shareholder of Panda Green Energy, through summer camps and design competitions.

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