The story behind this Photo of The Day – a solar farm in the shape of a panda:
In 2015 Ada Li Yan-tunga, a Chinese adolescent going to school in Portland Oregon, attends a COP21 Paris forum co-hosted by the United Nations.
Also attending the conference are Al Gore and then UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon.
“I was really excited to see Mr Al Gore,” Li told the South China Morning Post. “When I was seven or eight, my dad showed me a documentary, An Inconvenient Truth … It sort of planted the seed in me.”
Incorporating the animals she loves into a green energy concept, she presents the kind of idea you imagine a 15-year old girl might dream up. “I love pandas so much, so I was thinking, why not have pandas, because it is a symbol of both China and peace,” she recounted. “Putting that with the solar panels might transform the mundane shape of the bulky panels into a more fun figure, so it will attract more teenagers and global attention.”
The UN picks up on Panda Power
After the conference, the UN Development Programme contacted her about the idea and then presented it to some solar companies, announcing on September 2, 2016 that Panda Power Plants would be proceeding with a Hong Kong company, United Photovoltaics. United PV also changes its name to Panda Green Energy.
With planning for the project well underway the first 50 MegaWatt section of the proposed 100 MegaWatt capacity project plugs in to the grid in October of 2017. Panda Green Energy unveils plans to build 100 more Panda Power Plants in the next few years.
The first panda-inspired farm spreads out over 250 acres. “I didn’t think that it would actually be this big,” Li said “I didn’t think that I could really do anything. I though maybe just influence some people around me, but not on this scale.”
Other projects inspired by the panda
Who knows? Maybe climate change will be reversed and civilization saved by animal-shaped solar farms. Check out this one in Poland. The world has seen worse trends.
View different perspectives of the panda in this video from CCTV (China Central Television).