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UNDP Sponsors Building of the 100MW “Panda” PV Power Plant in China

published: 2016-11-25 16:56

A PV power plant, situated in Datong of China's Shanxi Province broke ground on Nov. 21, as a joint venture between UNDP (the United Nations Development Programme) and China's PGO (Photovoltaic Green-ecosystem Organization).

With an eye-catching shape of panda, the power plant, boasting 100MW in capacity, is scheduled for connection with grid on June 30, 2017. In response to the call of UNDP and PGO, the United Photovoltaics Group, an affiliate of China Merchants New Energy Group, will invest in and build the power plant, in conjunction with 10 other Chinese and U.S. firms, including Xian Longi, Sungrow, Powerchina, Zhonghai Sunshine, Huawei, Jolywood, First Solar, SunPower, and IBM. The 10 companies forms the “Panda Dream Team” for building the panda power plant.

Ground-breaking ceremony for Panda PV Power Plant. (Source: China Merchants New Energy Group)

100 Panda Plants

Li Yuan, CEO of China Merchants New Energy, pointed out that the choice of Datong as the site of the plant underscores the Chinese government's determination to transform the city from a "city of coal" to a "city of new energy," in order to cope with the problem of climate change. Meanwhile, the cooperation with UNDP is meant to prompt more young people acknowledging the environmental issue and facilitate the promotion of new energy.

The plant will be built in the shape of panda, in order to appeal to young people, too. Li Yuan noted, “Many foreign governments have expressed strong interest in the eye-catching plant, adding that the company may come up with more animal designs.” China Merchants plans to build 100 such animal-shaped PV power plants worldwide within next five years, according to Li.

The 100MW panda PV power plant in Datong is expected to generate 3.2 billion kWh of clean electricity within the next 25 years, reducing CO2 emission by 2.74 million tons.

Panda the PV Top Runner

Lei Ting, executive chairman of PGO and the founder of Wuxi Zhonghai Sunshine, remarks that the panda PV power plant embodies "hi-tech, high-efficiency, low-carbon, and humanism," pledging to render the plant the top runner of the new energy industry.

The project will utilize 120W thin-film solar panels, with 17% conversion efficiency, for the white part of the panda, and 290W mono-si PV modules, with over 18.04% conversion efficiency, for the black part. Both products will be supplied by its member firms. In addition, some Mono-si double-glass PV modules, with power output 20% higher than conventional mono-si modules, will also be applied.

The PV power plant will employs fixed racking systems, horizontal single-axis tracking systems and multi-angle solar tracking system so it can offer higher power generation as well as the effect of "panda blinking." It will also use high-efficiency inverters and smart power transformer and transmitter systems, on top of the cloud system and smart management, thereby boosting overall power-generation effectiveness to over 83%, compared with 80% of traditional power plants.

(Reported by Rhea Tsao; translated by a contracted translator of TrendForce Corp.)

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