The world’s largest stand-alone integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) project began transmitting power to the electric grid in Shanghai on Sunday.
This 6.68-megawatt ($23.6 million) solar system, which can produce 6.3 million kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electricity per year (enough power for 12,000 Shanghai households), will cut coal consumption by 2,254 tons and will reduce carbon emissions by 6,600 tons.
And, as a solar and high-speed rail enthusiast, a really cool aspect of this project for me is that it was built on top of the newly completed Hongqiao Station (on the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway line).
“Its 20,000 solar panels cover a roof area of 61,000 sq m and have produced 300,000 kwh power since the 160 million-yuan project began operation two weeks ago,” Xinhuanet News reports.
“The project is another manifestation of China’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions to fight climate change. It comes after the country set a voluntary target of cutting carbon intensity per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent by 2020,” said Yu Hailong, general manager of the the project’s developer, the Beijing-based China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group (CECEP).
This pilot project will help to stimulate more solar energy development in China, Hailong said, and will also promote the creation of more environmentally friendly railway stations.
Chief engineer of the Ministry of Railway Zheng Jian confirmed this, saying that railway stations are an ideal place to promote and implement solar technology.
“BIPV technology does not take up extra space, because it is integrated into buildings’ design and construction. It is especially suitable for China’s eastern areas, where there are limited land resources yet greater energy demand,” Chen said.
This new project in Shanghai is actually not the first such project in China, but it is the largest.
Another large stand-alone integrated PV solar system (though, still about 3 times smaller than this one) was actually installed at Wuhan Station, part of the Wuhan-Guangzhou High-speed Railway, recently and was connected to the grid in May.
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