World's largest floating solar farm is almost complete

Posted at 1:41 PM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 13:41:46-04

HUAINAN CITY, CHINA (CNN) - China - a country that has long relied on coal for power - is now looking to become the world's green superpower.

They've built the world's largest floating solar farm above a lake that was flooded with coal 20 years ago.

The 165,000 solar panels are numerous enough to fill more than 160 American football fields.

They will eventually soak up the sun, generating enough electricity to power close to 15,000 homes per year.

"We've invested about $45 million so far," said Yao Shaohua, deputy director on the project.

The initial cost of building the farm on top of a lake was more expensive, but in the end, the system runs more efficiently. The panels are cooled by the water underneath, and making use of unused space.

"The government won't allow us to just install panels wherever we want," said Yao.  "These old coal fields wouldn't be used otherwise, so it makes sense."

The farm is almost 90 percent complete.

China plans to invest $150 billion in solar projects alone by 2020, a small part of a larger push to become eco-friendlier.

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