China has built a solar power farm in Datong in the shape of a giant panda. The 248-acre solar farm will have a capacity of 100MW, providing 3.2 billion kWh of green electricity in 25 years.
While most solar farms are just rows and rows of glistening panels, this one in Datong has been structured in the shape of a sitting panda whose eyes look in different directions. While monocrystalline silicone solar cells form the black parts of the panda, the white and gray parts are filled with thin film solar cells.
“By designing the solar power station into the pattern of a panda, we aim to stimulate teenagers’ interest and enthusiasm for solar energy application,” China Merchants New Energy Group CEO Alan Li is reported to have said at the 2016 G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting.
The first phase of the plant was completed on June 30, PV magazine reported and it has started delivering power to a grid in North Western China. The work for the second project will be started soon later this year.
“A 100MW Panda Power Plant can provide 3.2 billion [kilowatt-hours] of green electricity in 25 years, equivalent to saving 1.056 million tons of coal, or reducing 2.74 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions,” the company said
The project is backed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and will play a crucial role to engage young people in sustainable development. The project will also help to reduce carbon emissions by around 2.74 million tons.
The project is part of a larger effort to raise awareness among young people in China about clean energy, the UNDP wrote in a statement. The groups are aiming to build more panda-shaped solar plants throughout the country in the coming years.