The first Panda Solar Station in the world was completed and began operations in Datong, Shanxi province on June 29.
The station’s installed capacity is 100MW, which it is estimated will generate 3.2 billion kWh of electricity, saving 1.06 million tons of coal and reducing emissions by 2.74 million tons of carbon dioxide, 27,400 tons of sulfur dioxide, 24,000 tons of nitrogen oxide, and 1,600 tons of dust during its expected lifespan of 25 years.
The project was initiated by Panda Green Energy Group, a leading investor and operator specializing in solar power plants in China.
It built the station with black monocrystalline silicon module and off-white thin film PV module, making it look like a panda from above, hence the name.
Li Yuan, CEO of the group’s parent company, China Merchants New Energy (CMNE), explained the reason why the company decided to build the station in Datong.
"Datong’s transformation from ’China’s Coal City’ to being a pilot area for new energy is a strong endorsement of the clean energy industry," said Li.
The sufficient solar irradiance and land in Datong also made it an ideal choice for the construction of the solar station.
"Everybody will take part in the future energy system and benefit from it," said He Jijiang, a professor at Tsinghua University.
"I hope the Panda Solar Station will boost the industrial transformation of energy in Datong; and Datong will share its success with the whole world," he added.
In the next 5 years, CMNE plans to build 100 panda power stations around the world, according to Li Yuan. In each country, the panda pattern will be combined with local animals, such as koala bears, rhinoceroses and polar bears, to encourage teenagers to join in the fight against climate change.