Ningguo City could be first solar-powered city in China

A Chinese tellurium mining company, Apollo Solar Energy, has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the Ningguo Municipal Government to begin a joint venture to design, build and run a 30×50 square kilometre solar city in Anhui Province, China.

The letter presents Apollo with the chance to become a 51% shareholder with the Ningguo City Investment Company, which could lead to proving how cost-efficient the use of solar energy for an entire community could be. Other investors would own 49 percent of the ventures shares between them.

As it stands, if the plans go ahead, Ningguo will be the first city in China to use solar power as its number one source of energy. Apollo’s eventual aim, it says, is to make a completely zero-emission city in China. It won’t be easy, though: it’s believed that the entire project including a 10 GW grid-connected solar power station, will take up to 8 years and costs up to $14 billion. However, looking very, very long term as China tends to, the R+D for the project as well as the potential future cost savings that a solar city will make, could even further cement China’s role as a world leader.

In the Letter of Intent, Apollo outlines what would be necessary for the creation of the city. It would nead a group of grid-connected solar power stations, economical lighting systems and solar potovoltaic industrial parks which would build a community neighborhood, safeguarded by photovoltaic and thermal integrated buildings. Photovaltaic pannels convert solar radiation into direct current electricity.

Apollo is keen to drum up support for renewable energy, including solar, with the Chinese government. It believes that while restricting country-wide carbon emissions is a goal, this effort, if it goes ahead, will lead to higher volume production across the entire industry.

The first thing Apollo will do, it says, is work on its group of grid-connected solar energy stations in Ningguo City. If the entire project is successful, Apollo will be actively looking to bring its all-solar energy model to other cities in China and, eventually, other countries.