Solar power park turns Qinghai desert ‘green’

Solar power park turns Qinghai desert ‘green’

In China’s Qinghai Province, the construction of one of the country’s largest solar power parks has had an unexpected result. The ‘green’ project has turned parts of the desert green.

In the desert of Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, one of the largest photovoltaic power generation parks in the country (investment: US$6.29 billion) has been built in 2012. The high altitude of the region and the strong light radiation and long sunshine duration of eight hours per day made it the ideal location for a park like this.

The photovoltaic park, covering an area of 609 square kilometers (installed capacity totaling over 19 million kilowatts) has brought unexpected ecological improvement. By providing shadow to the surface of the desert, the solar panels help lower wind speed and reduce evaporation, increasing the vegetation coverage, as Shanghai Daily reports.

Park management has started to employ local herdsmen to pasture thousands of sheep. Herding, reaping pastures and cleaning solar panels in the park is offering more than 1,000 jobs to local residents.

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