Panda power is the new face of so­lar

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By LIU XUAN in Da­tong, Shanxi li­ux­uan@chi­

A so­lar power sta­tion shaped like gi­ant pan­das opened to the public on Tues­day in Da­tong, Shanxi prov­ince, and its owner said sim­i­lar plants are planned in coun­tries in­volved in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

En­gi­neers used dif­fer­ent kinds of sil­i­con so­lar cells in black and gray­ish white to pre­sent an im­age of two baby pan­das when seen from above.

The idea came from a 17-year-old over­seas Chi­nese stu­dent. She hoped that it would make peo­ple think about pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment by us­ing green power.

The project’s first stage is op­er­at­ing and was con­nected to the grid on June 29 with a ca­pac­ity of 50 megawatts, mean­ing its av­er­age daily out­put could sup­ply 120 av­er­age Chi­nese house­holds with elec­tric­ity for a year.

The project in­cor­po­rates eight in­dus­try-lead­ing tech­nolo­gies, ac­cord­ing to Wang Jingchao, tech­ni­cal en­gi­neer of the power sta­tion. “With the new tech­nolo­gies, our plant is es­ti­mated to achieve 1,600 hours of full power op­er­a­tion an­nu­ally,” Wang said.

In the next five years, the owner of the so­lar sta­tion, Panda Green En­ergy, a Hong Kong-listed com­pany, will carry out its “Panda 100 Plan”, co­op­er­at­ing with coun­tries in­volved in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive to build more panda power plants.

“We have signed an agree­ment with the Philip­pines to help them build a so­lar sta­tion,” said Wang. “Pak­istan, Dji­bouti, Aus­tralia, Canada and other coun­tries are on the list for the next step.”

One of the most in­ter­est­ing in­no­va­tions is dubbed the “panda’s smile”. The an­gle of the so­lar cells can change based on the move­ment of the sun, mak­ing the panda seem to smile at times. Dou­ble-sided sil­i­con cells get more out of sun­light.

Teens from around China have been in­vited to a sum­mer camp hosted by the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme at the sta­tion on Aug 10 to 19 to pro­mote an in­ter­est in new en­ergy in­no­va­tion.


A 17-year-old stu­dent pro­posed

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