Smart Agrivoltaic Power Plant in Ningxia: Turning a Desert into an Oasis
4.31 billion kWh
of green electricity generated by the PV plants built by Huawei and Baofeng Group
The Binhe New District on the eastern banks of the Yellow River in Ningxia used to be a harsh desert environment. Baofeng Group has been managing this desertified patch of 107 square kilometers by planting alfalfa and goji to improve the soil.
Since 2016, Huawei and Baofeng Group have jointly built large PV power plants over the goji plantations. The solar panels have cut evaporation from the soil by 30–40% and increased vegetation coverage by 86% in just a few years, which has significantly improved the local environment. The desert has turned into an oasis, creating a rich field of ruby-red berries topped by an azure sea of solar cells. As of the end of 2020, these PV power plants had generated 4.31 billion kWh of electricity, displacing 2.047 million tons1 of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to planting 89.01 million trees.
The solar panels over the goji plantations have changed local residents' lives in many ways. More than 80,000 jobs have been created, including cleaning the solar panels, and weeding, debudding, pruning, fertilizing, and picking in the goji fields. These extra jobs and the income they generate have given local residents better lives.
Protecting the environment is not a process that can happen in isolation. It is closely tied to the management of ecosystems, energy resources, economic development, and many other issues. As we promote renewable energy and reduce humanity's carbon footprint, we have come to realize that a green planet is a treasure. Economic development and environmental protection can be simultaneous, mutually-reinforcing processes.
A farmer picking goji berries at the Baofeng Group PV plant in Ningxia