36 Acre Rooftop Solar Project Planned

The Chinese company Astroenergy is taking the rooftop solar concept to a new level, saying it plans to cover 148,000 square meters – that’s around 36 acres, by our calculations – of a single building with a 10-megawatt grid-connected photovoltaic-panel system. It might go without saying that this would be the world’s largest single-building PV system.

The building big enough for such a project is the new Hangzhou East Railway Station, a hub for high-speed rail, subway, buses and other modes of transportation slated to open by the end of 2011. Hangzhou is about 110 miles southwest of Shanghai on Hangzhou Bay.

Photovoltaic panel solar system, Astroenergy

image via Astroenergy

“This project will become one of the most prominent low-carbon projects in Hangzhou’s history and will serve as a model for other PV initiatives across the nation,” Astroenergy said in a press release. The company said that the solar power generated by the system will replace 3,277 tons of coal and reduce potential carbon dioxide emissions by 8,095 tons, sulfur dioxide emissions by 66 tons and other air pollutants by 32 tons.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.