Its appearance pays homage to the country's national treasure - the Giant Panda
Instead of aligning the solar arrays in rows and columns to form a grid, a Chinese company proposed an innovative design for the 50MW solar farm in Datong, China: that of a giant panda. China Merchants New Energy, which is also one of the country's largest clean energy operators, completed the first phase of the project on June 30, when the solar farm was connected to the grid delivering power in the northwestern part of the country. The 248-acre solar park is part of the so-called Panda Power Plant which will stretch 1.500 acres when completed, as future plans include the construction of a second panda-formed farm that will raise capacity to 100 MW. It will be able to produce 3.2 billion kWh of solar energy in 25 years, while it is expected to contribute to the reduction of roughly 2.74 million tons of CO2 (60,000 tons/ year). The design was realized using black monocrystalline silicon solar cells from a Chinese company and grey and white thin-film solar cells supplied by First Solar in the U.S.
The Panda Power Plant in Datong, China will stretch 1,500 acres when complete. China Merchants New Energy/Panda Green Energy
For its construction, China Merchants New Energy Group (CMNE) worked for the first time with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The agreement, which was signed last September, also involves the construction of other panda-shaped PV projects, as part of a larger effort to raise awareness among young people in China about clean energy. "By designing the solar power station into the pattern of a panda, we aim to stimulate teenagers' interest and enthusiasm for solar energy application,â€ Alan Li, CEO of CMNE Group said. â€œTo cope with the climate change, we should not only appeal to the governments and companies, but also need to motivate every household, getting the next generation involved in, thus making joint efforts for a green future", he added.