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China is home to the first panda-shaped solar farm

Un panda gigante è la forma del nuovo impianto fotovoltaico costruito in Cina ed entrato in funzione in questi giorni. Una centrale bella da vedere ma che vuole soprattutto parlare di sostenibilità ai giovani.

China, the world’s major producer of solar power, has launched a new solar station that has become the most famous – and funniest – ever built. The solar farm is shaped like a giant panda, an animal particularly cherished by Chinese people and the symbol of wildlife conservation.

The icon of wildlife conservation produces solar energy

Amongst the world’s most beautiful solar farms, the panda-shaped station not only stands out for its beauty but also because it will draw the attention of many, especially among the youngsters. The Panda Power Plant in Datong, north-east China, is a PV plant with an installed capacity of 50MW. The black part of the panda, like the ears and arms, are composed of monocrystalline silicon solar cells produced by China Xi’an Longji Silicon Materials Co., while the white part is composed of the thin film solar cell produced by US manufacturer First Solar. In this way, two of the most advanced solar technologies are integrated in a sole plant, while celebrating China’s iconic animal.

The presentation of the Panda Power Plant © China Merchant New Energy

A panda-shaped farm raises young people’s awareness on clean energy

The Panda Power Plant was built under the agreement between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the China Merchants New Energy (CMNE), aimed to support the development of renewable energies and to promote public awareness on eco-friendly technologies and sustainable development, in particular among young people.

As well as providing clean energy, the new solar farm aims to engage young people in China and all around the world to promote the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and provide a platform to exchange ideas on how helping countries to face the challenges ahead. For this, the solar farm will be also home to an educational and training centre to teach students how a solar plant works and which are its advantages.

solare fotovoltaico cina panda
Il progetto complessivo del Power plant panda (Fonte: Panda Green Energy Group)

Over a billion tonnes of coal kept in the ground

The project of the Panda Power Plant is ambitious. In fact, its installed capacity will reach 1MW in a 100-hectare area. According to the Panda Green Energy Group, once completed the Datong solar farm will produce 3.2 billion KW of clean energy over the next 25 years, saving 1,056 million tonnes of coal and reducing CO2 emissions by 2.74 million tonnes, equal to taking 73,000 cars off the road for 25 years.

More “solar pandas”

Seen the success of the first solar farm, the Panda Green Energy Group aims to install more panda-shaped solar farms in China over the next five years. The projects will be included in the “Belt and Road” areas, i.e. those regions targeted by the economic development strategy of President Xi Jinping aimed at the cooperation between Eurasian countries. Also, the company doesn’t exclude that projects of this kind will be realised out of the country to celebrate local iconic animals like koalas, rhinos, and other animals that will bring clean energy to our future.

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