Chinese solar program helps generate village power, aids farms

CCTV News

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Solar power stations in north China’s Hebei province are making new attempts to combine recycling and agriculture with solar power plants. Guoxiang Farm manager Cheng Zhenting said solar power heating will keep their hogs alive and cost almost nothing.

CCTV’s Ning Hong reports from Dingzhou, Hebei.

Chinese solar program helps generate village power, aids farms

Chinese solar program helps generate village power, aids farms

Solar power stations in north China's Hebei province are making new attempts to combine recycling and agriculture with solar power plants. Guoxiang Farm manager Cheng Zhenting said solar power heating will keep their hogs alive and cost almost nothing.

Guoxiang Farm joined the Golden Sun project in 2009, it’s a government-funded program that creates solar power stations. Participants then sell the power generated at a lower price to the grid for a period of 20 years, he said.

Instead of using a boiler to provide heat, these solar panels on the roof of the hog houses provide basic electricity for the farm and nearby villages. The power generated by Guoxiang Farm’s solar power station could on average support 100 households for a month.

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The solar power station takes about 30 hectares (74 acres) of land. In order to use the land more efficiently, people can grow vegetables on the land between the panels, including corn, Chinese cabbage, potatoes, and even herbal medicines. The aim is to adjust the spacing and height of the solar panels for different crops and to choose the crop based on market considerations.

“The output could reach 70 to 80 percent of common farmland. We are testing different kinds of crops as well as the layout of the solar panels,” Guoxiang Farm Technician Zheng Weiqing said.