China has just built a cute solar farm that is shaped like a giant panda. It is a 248-acre solar farm located in Datong, China.
China Merchants New Energy Group/Panda Green Energy, one of China's largest clean energy operators, developed the giant panda-inspired solar farm. Li Yuan, the CEO of Panda Green Energy, said that designing the plant in the shape of a panda could inspire young people and get them interested in the applications of solar power.
This solar farm is called the Panda Power Plant. If the plant is completed, it will generate 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of solar energy in 25 years. Its first phase that includes one 50-megawatt plant was finished on June 30, 2017. The second phase is in progress and will be built later this year. Meanwhile, the first panda solar farm is delivering power to a grid in northwestern China, according to Science Alert.
Panda Power Plant could empower about 8,000 households and has an output of 50 MW. Its solar panel consists of two types, namely the white thin film photovoltaic (PV) cells and the black monocrystalline silicon PV cells. These colors make the plant look like a giant panda, which is China's favorite animal.
Mashable reports that the power plant is part of a UN Development Program (UNDP). It aims to promote clean energy to China's youth and inform them about sustainable energy. UNDP and the Panda Green Energy organized a summer camp for teenagers aged 13 to 17 this coming August. The UNDP together with Panda Green Energy is also organizing open design challenges.
Panda Green Energy is planning to develop more panda-inspired power plants in Southeast and Central Asia such as in Fiji and the Philippines. The company wants to develop more than 100 power plants that are shaped as the panda in the coming five years. These include animal motifs such as koala or rhinoceros. Li said that panda solar power plant could become a tourist hotspot in the future. The CEO further said that they will export these panda-inspired power plants to other countries.