Renewable energy just got an injection of cuteness thanks to the Panda Power Plant, a new solar farm installed in the Shanxi province of China. The adorable, panda-shaped farm will have an aggregate capacity of 100 MW when completely finished.
The initiative by Panda Green Energy, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program, is part of a push to educate China’s young people about sustainable energy. Accordingly, an activity center at the solar farm will educate local schoolchildren about solar energy and its benefit. Since starting construction in November 2016, the project has progressed rapidly. The first phase is now complete, with one 50 MW panda being connected to the grid.
In order to form the shape of these cuddly creatures. Panda Green Energy used monocrystalline silicone solar cells for the black portions and thin film solar cells for the white and gray face and belly. Much more than a cute gimmick, the Panda Power Plant is a big step in moving China toward green energy solutions. The 100 MW Panda Power Plant will provide 3.2 billion kWh of green electricity in 25 years, equivalent to saving 1.056 million tons of coal, or reducing 2.74 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
This first Panda Power Plant is just the beginning. Panda Green Energy revealed that it intends to build more solar farms over the next 5 years as part of their Panda 100 program. The goal is to construct along the Belt and Road areas that are part of President Xi Jinping’s economic development strategy.