China shows interesting examples of efficient use of land resources. The country has implemented large-scale projects to combine solar energy and aquaculture, allowing to collect a “double-crop” from one site.

Here is another example – the world’s largest agricultural voltaic project (solar energy plus agriculture).

In 2014, the Chinese company Baofeng Group began managing 107 km2 of desertified land, initially planting alfalfa to improve the soil. The company then began planting goji berries, a traditional occupation in the Ningxia region with a 1000-year history.

To make full use of the land resources, Huawei Smart PV has built a solar power plant over the plantation of these berries.

It is planned that the power plant will cover an area of 20 square kilometres, and the installed capacity of solar generation will reach 1 GW.

To date, 640 MW has already been installed and connected to the grid.

Huawei’s solution uses “the world’s leading horizontal uniaxial auto-tracking technology, which allows solar panels to track the sun like a sunflower, which in turn significantly improves power generation efficiency over traditional photovoltaic power plants.”

The panels are installed at a height of 2.9 meters, which not only provides ample space for growing goji berries but also ensures optimal operation and maintenance, the company says, adding that Baofeng is using Huawei drones and a smart control system to monitor the station.

“The ecosystem in this region has improved with a significant increase in the number of small wild animals and birds such as sparrows, hares and pheasants,” said a Huawei spokesman. It is believed that a solar power plant effectively reduces moisture evaporation by 30-40%. “All plantations use drip irrigation because there is very little rainfall in this area.”

According to Huawei, after the project is completed, it will save 557,600 tons of coal annually, reduce CO2 emissions by 1,695 million tons, sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 51,000 tons, nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 26,000 tons and dust by 462,000 tons per year.

Source – here