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Source: Panda Green Energy/China Merchants New Energy

China Builds First Solar Farm Shaped Like A Giant Panda

By Maria Cook

When one thinks of renewable energy, words like "innovative," "futuristic," or "eco-friendly" may come to mind. But what about "cute"? In Datong, China, the Panda Power Plant, created by energy company Panda Green Energy, is breaking new ground as the world's first adorable solar farm. From above, the entire farm is shaped like a giant, cartoonish panda. It is the first solar farm to ever be arranged in this style, and people already can't get enough.

According to Inhabitat, the panda design was created using two types of solar cells. First, monocrystalline silicone solar cells were used to create the black parts of the panda, including the arms, ears, eye patches, and mouth. For the white face, belly, and paw markings, thin film solar cells were used.

Recently, a large part of the panda was connected to the country's power grid, producing 50 megawatts of energy. Once the entire panda is connected, around 100 megawatts of energy will be produced. According to Next Shark, over the next 25 years, the Panda Power Plant is expected to produce around 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of energy. To put this into context, this is enough renewable energy to curb almost three million tons of carbon emissions, and save over one million tons of coal.