BEIJING, China - China has announced that it has completed work on the first phase of its new solar power farm in Datong that has been designed in the shape of a giant panda.
The country said that the first phase was completed on June 30 and that it has started delivering power to a grid in North Western China.
It said that the work for the second project will start later this year.
Officials in the country said the 248-acre solar farm in Datong will have a capacity of 100MW, providing 3.2 billion kWh of green electricity in 25 years - which the company said is “equivalent to saving 1.056 million tons of coal, or reducing 2.74 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.”
The farm, that has been structured in the shape of a sitting panda whose eyes look in different directions - with monocrystalline silicone solar cells forming the black parts of the panda, and the white and gray parts being filled with thin film solar cells.
China Merchants New Energy Group CEO Alan Li said at the 2016 G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting, “By designing the solar power station into the pattern of a panda, we aim to stimulate teenagers’ interest and enthusiasm for solar energy application.”
The project is reportedly backed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and will play a crucial role to engage young people in sustainable development.
Authorities also noted that the project will help to reduce carbon emissions by around 2.74 million tons.
The UNDP wrote in a statement that the project is part of a larger effort to raise awareness among young people in China about clean energy.
The groups are aiming to build more panda-shaped solar plants throughout the country over the next five years.