Going by the phenomenal success of the Kung Fu Panda film franchise, we can safely presume that people everywhere love pandas. That is especially true in case of China, currently the only place in the world where giant pandas live. In fact, this affable furry creature is treasured by the Chinese as their national animal. It comes as no surprise therefore that the newly-opened solar plant in the Datong region of the country’s Shanxi province boasts a rather unusual shape of, you guessed it, a giant panda.
In keeping with the directives of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Hong Kong-based Panda Green Energy Group Ltd installed a ginormous solar array that can reportedly produce up to 50 megawatts of clean energy. Aptly named as the Panda Power Plant, the first phase of this facility has recently started operations. According to the developers, the area will ultimately boast total generation capacity of over 100 megawatts.
To replicate the panda’s white and black markings, the team will be using thin-film solar cells for the lighter parts like face and tummy, and thicker monocrystalline silicone cells for the darker arms and ears. To encourage sustainable practices among school kids, the power plant will also house a youth activity center offering information about renewable energy and its many advantages.
Over the course of 25 years, the developers claimed, the facility will be able to harvest nearly 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of solar power. Consequently, it will lower carbon emissions by more than 2.72 million tons and, will also help conserve over 1.056 million tons of coal. The company’s Panda 100 Program plans to oversee the construction of many more of these Panda Power Plants within the next five years or so.
The project, the team revealed, will mainly focus on the Belt and Road regions pointed out by Chinese President Xi Jinping, as part of the much-anticipated 21st-century Maritime Silk Road initiative.
To learn more about the Panda 100 program, head over to the company’s official website.