A solar power station in China has a remarkable three-in-one function: It generates clean energy, produces salt, and breeds shrimp.
The China Huadian Corporation’s Huadian Tianjin Haijing station, which is controlled by the Chinese government, will tentatively generate about 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which is enough energy to power 1.5 million Chinese households, according to Electrek.
The station’s solar panels span over five square miles (13 square kilometers) across a prominent salt farm, the Changlu salt fields. These panels are spaced 46 feet (14 meters) apart — which is about double the usual amount — to allow room for sun-based saltmaking and can receive both direct sunlight and reflected light from the water below the panels, as reported by Electrek.
The Chinese government’s CCTV claims that the three-in-one plant is the largest single-unit power station in the entire world. The station went online on July 8, according to CCTV, and it should decrease the country’s carbon pollution by 1.25 million tons — and save 500,000 tons of coal — every year, according to Electrek.
Expanding the planet’s clean energy capabilities is vital to slowing its dangerous overheating. In 2022, 31% of the United States’ carbon pollution came from the country’s electric power sector, according to the Energy Information Administration.
“After the project is put into operation, a total of 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours of green electricity will be produced every year from the salt field that is over 1,300 hectares, which will further promote the green energy transformation in north China and drive the internal circulation of the regional industrial chain,” said Yang Fan, the chief engineer of the project, in translation in the CCTV video. “At the same time, the project will realize a new composite industrial model of floating photovoltaic power generation, brine evaporation, and aquaculture.”
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