The project — which is shaped like a panda bear when viewed from above — is the first such installation the company has completed under its collaborative agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). China Merchants New Energy Group (CMNE) — Panda Green Energy’s largest shareholder — signed an agreement with the UNDP last September to build panda-shaped PV projects, as part of efforts to raise awareness about sustainable development among young people in China.
Last February, Datong Panda PV — an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Panda Green Energy — revealed that it had recruited Sichuan Zhonghaichuanglian Electricity Engineering and Shanxi Silu Electricity Engineering to provide EPC services for the first project under the UNDP tie-up. The EPC deal for the installation in Datong county, Shanxi province, was valued at roughly 369 million yuan ($54.4 million), according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The project includes a includes a youth activity center to teach schoolchildren about the benefits of solar energy. The electricity generated by the array is expected to contribute to the reduction of roughly 60,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
In the future, Panda Green Energy plans to build an undisclosed number of panda-shaped PV plants under its agreement with the UNDP. Some of those projects may be built outside of China, under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road economic development strategy.
Panda Green Energy made its first foray into overseas project investment last January, when it purchased 82.4 MW of operational solar capacity at six undisclosed sites throughout the U.K. It plans to invest in more projects outside of China in the future, partly in collaboration with Japanese financial services giant Orix, which holds a 13.18% stake in the Chinese group.
In March, a unit Panda Green Energy agreed to start a 601 million yuan ($86.9 million) venture with China Zheyin Synergy Capital Management to invest in companies that are building solar, wind, hydropower and biomass projects. And in April, the group revealed plans to buy a 200 MW solar project in China’s Ningxia region.