Panda Power: China just built a solar farm shaped like a giant panda - USA TODAY Panda Power: China just built a solar farm shaped like a giant panda - USA TODAY 1296dfbe41
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The Panda Power Plant in Datong, China is not only providing renewable energy but is doing so while being the cutest solar farm around. Josh King has the story (@abridgetoland). Buzz60

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Last week, Panda Green Energy Group Limited flipped the switch on the world’s most adorable solar panel facility.

The group announced last Friday that its Panda Power Plant was officially connected to the grid in Datong Shanxi, China. While a photo of the plant has been difficult to find, a past artist rendering shows panels in the shape of a bright-eyed, smiling Giant Panda. (Po, from Kung Fu Panda, is that you?)

The design of the plant was possible using black single crystalline silicon solar cells from a Chinese company and white thin-film solar cells supplied by First Solar in the U.S.

“By designing the solar power station into the pattern of a panda, we aim to stimulate teenagers’ interest and enthusiasm for solar energy application,” Alan Li, CEO of China Merchants New Energy Group said last year. “To cope with the climate change, we should not only appeal to the governments and companies, but also need to motivate every household, getting the next generation involved in, thus making joint efforts for a green future.”

China Merchants New Energy Group, Panda Green Energy’s largest shareholder, worked with the United Nations Development Program last year to involve youth in innovation design contests.

Plus, there’s more pandas on the way. Panda Green Energy’s Panda 100 Program plans to build many more adorable green energy sites — enough to power 3.2 billion kWh of green electricity over 25 years, according to a release. That’s comparable to saving 1.056 million tons of coal, or reducing 2.74 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the project notes.

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

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