China built a solar farm shaped like a giant panda
Posted July 10
China is known for its environmental struggles-it consumes almost half of the world’s coal, and its smog may be as dangerous as cigarette smoke, according to recent research. China is also known for its pandas, which are cuddly and account for about 90 percent of the cute-animals-rolling-down-a-hill videos, according to me. So it only makes sense that China should find a way to combine two things they are known for.
Rather than lay out its solar panels in some boring square, Panda Green Energy Group laid out a new 248-acre solar farm in Datong in the shape of an adorable panda.
The black parts of the panda are composed of monocrystalline silicone and the gray-and-white parts are thin film solar cells. The plant is expected to be able to produce 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of solar energy in 25 years, reducing carbon emissions by 2.74 million tons.
The project was a collaboration between Panda Green Energy and the United Nations Development Program to help raise awareness among young people about environmental issues. The site will also host energy summer camps and open innovation design contests.
And Panda Green Energy isn’t done yet. They plan on building more panda power plants in the next five years, with the solar farms eventually covering 1,500 acres.
While this may be the cutest version yet, innovative solar farm designs have been done before. Disney has one in the shape of its Mickey Mouse logo while another in Nevada has a cool whirlpool look, even if it apparently used to barbecue birds. And if the attention the panda is getting is any indication, future solar farms looking to get some press would be wise to follow suit.
Which leaves us only one question: What should the world’s next big solar farm be shaped like? Well, for what it’s worth, I personally think they should figure out if red solar panels are available.