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There is Something Shining on Changshu Farmland - “Talesun Solar’s On Site Visit” from APVIA Media Team

What can a piece of land grow?

What Mr. Wang Baixing has practiced told us: besides crop, you can also “grow” solar power on the same land, and even created a new model of “Poverty Relief with PV” and help poor regions famers to find a path out of poverty!

Nov. 28th, 2016, when media team members of APVIA came to Zhongli Talesun to have group interview, they had saw magical changes on the field adjoined Zhongli Talesun with their own eyes. They had learned lots of great and inspiring stories about how Zhongli Talesun grafted traditional agriculture with smart solar PV power plant, and hybridized “Agriculture with New Energy Technology”.

Mr. Wang Baixing is the chairman of both Zhongli Talesun and its mother company Zhongli Group. Zhongli Group has 9 national high-tech enterprises, and it is listed in China Top 500 Private Companies and Top 10 Innovative Companies. In 2015, Zhongli Group has realized 800 million RMB tax, which contribute a lot to local economy. Zhongli Talesun, which is dominant company in Zhongli Group, has world’s leading 3GW solar cell production capacity, 5GW solar module production capacity and 5GW aluminum alloy mounting system production capacity. Also, Zhongli Talesun is one of the few PV manufacturers who has received CQC’s “Top Runner” program level one energy efficiency certification in China. Zhongli Talesun has cumulatively developed more than 4GW PV power plants all over the world, which is in leading position in China. Mr. Wang Baixing, Chairman of Zhongli Talesun, has been awarded many times, and he has been awarded as the chairman of executive committee of APVIA since 2015.

There were pretty much large scale PV power plants have been built in northwest China in recent years, but many of them has restriction issues of power generation just because of low electrical load in local provinces. In such condition, Mr. Wang Baixing turned his eyes upon his beloved home town in time – Changshu. During 2014-2015, they have successfully invented integrated technology of “Smart PV + Technical Agriculture”, which has received 34 patents both from China and abroad. Meanwhile, Zhongli Talesun has established institutions like Zhongli Photovoltaic (PV) Agricultural Research Institute and Zhongli Agriculture Technology Development Co., Ltd. to have variety kinds of experiments regarding PV and agriculture integration; growing & breeding with PV power generation, etc. Zhongli Talesun has gathered around 1700 mu land nearby, which including farmland, lakeshore and abandoned land, to have those experiments, and achieved substantial result.

On that day, Mr. Wang Baixing set aside his busy business affairs, and dissected the mystery of this creative study nicknamed “Grand Agriculture Grafted with PV” by himself to the media team members.

Firstly, there are many unique features about this PV technology application: a, all PV modules are high efficient type; b, the height of PV array above the paddy field has been set to more than 4 meters; c, the PV array has adopted single panel installation method; d, the pile spacing has been enlarged to 10 meters; e, use concrete column and aluminum mounting system. All those five points make the PV arrays high efficiency; excellent wind load performance; good illumination; suitable for small farm machines to carry out farm operations; guarantee of resistant to corrosion for more than 20 years, and also save a lot of cost of maintenance. Also, this farm has been designed and integrated with smart control systems, which can effectively control light, fertilizer, water, insects resistance, pesticide and anti-bird system. Moreover, PV arrays can protect rice from fall over under climate conditions like typhoon during maturation period. At last, they started to harvest the grain under couple of agricultural experts’ on site evaluation, and the result showed average grain output per mu has reached 602 KG, which was better than the output from nearby farmland. Although it’s already passed the harvest season of rice, the media team was still much impressed by the great charm of this innovative project from the video records of cultivation and few remaining full ear of rice beside the “PV paddy field”.

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Secondly, Zhongli Talesun has tested integrations between different agriculture industry and PV power generation. On the same land, Mr. Wang Baixing and his colleagues had established many different kinds of farms and plantations under the PV power plant: organic vegetables with soilless cultivation; free-range farming of gooses, ducks and chickens; lake with lotus, crabs, shrimps and fishes, etc. Moreover, he has deployed more than 10 regions, like Guanxian Shandong, Kaifeng Henan, Yugan Jiangxi, to carry out “PV Plantation” with more valuable plants like Chinese herbs, Tibetan medicine and peony for oil. In brief, Zhongli Talesun expects to popularize those demonstration projects to more areas in China: not only “harvest” more than 100,000 kWh green energy per mu, but also high value crops which are expected to receive more than 10,000 RMB net profits per mu.

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On Oct. 23rd, 2016, leaded by Chinese Association of Agricultural Economics, together with experts from more than 10 ministries and commissions, such like National Development and Reform Commission, National Poverty Relief Office, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Land and Resource, had a verification meeting of popularization of this innovative project. The conclusion this verification meeting was that “Zhongli Wannong” “Technical Grand Agriculture with Smart Solar Energy” had filled technology blank both in and abroad, and successfully realized the integration of general agriculture and solar energy, substantially enhanced the rate of multipurpose utilization of land, and increased both production and income for farmers.

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Based on the success of “Agriculture with PV Technology”, Mr. Wang Baixing, together with his colleagues, has started a work even more meaningful and more promising: “Poverty Relief with PV”.

Early this year, after the approval by related parties, initiated by Zhongli Talesun, together with few policy banks, had founded “Industry Foundation of Poverty Relief with PV” with 10 billion RMB. It was planned to develop one 500 kW “Poverty Relief Solar Farm” with 12 mu land for each 128,000 poor village in China. Here are the details: village committee will establish a project company on the premise that the property character and functional character of project land will not change; average revenue from PV power generation is about 600,000 RMB per year, deduct the cost of 15-years constant payment mortgage, operation and maintenance which is about 300,000RMB, the net profit for each poor village is around 300,000 RMB each year. Moreover, “Poverty Relief Solar Farm” will also get 120,000RMB revenue (10,000 RMB per mu) from projects like leisure agriculture, Chinese herb plantation and special breeding, which is collectively owned by peasants. “This model of poverty relief has just created a path to help poor villages to benefit from “PV + Agriculture” with 20-years stable income,” said Mr. Wang Baixing, “And let the peasants share the success of “solar energy + modern agriculture technology””. It is reported that Zhongli Talesun has signed poverty relief agreement with 15 poor cities; they will not only massively implement this innovative projects in all over the country, but also make sure those cities to get rid of poverty within 3 years.

“Changshu farmland. Changshu has vast flat farmland with good harvest every year. The name and reality are perfectly fit.” This is the inscription that famous painter Mr. Qian Songyan has wrote on his painting “Changshu Farmland” in 53 years ago. Nowadays, with development of economy and improvement of quality of life, “Changshu Farmland” has become more and more scarce. As an indigenous people from a fertile land and a son of Changshu farmers, Mr. Wang Baixing loves so much of this land, which is the motivation of how this model of “Smart PV + Technical Agriculture” could be invented. It can not only produce crops, but also produce green energy and even new model of “Poverty Relief with PV” on the one same Changshu farmland. Now Paris Climate Agreement has come into effect, and “Solar Energy Era” is approaching quickly. Mr. Wang Baixing and his colleagues will ride with this “Apollo’s carriage” and massively promote and implement their innovative technology & model with grand supports and help from authorities of different levels. Let the sun not just shines on Changshu farmland, but also all over the country, and make the value of the land be maximized!