Taipower to use cattle for weed control on trial basis at solar farm

Taipei,  The state-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) said Wednesday that it will launch an environmentally friendly pilot project to keep its solar farm in Nantou County clear of weeds by putting cattle to graze there.

Instead of using herbicides, the company said, it will obtain two cattle from the Council of Agriculture’s Livestock Research Institute and turn them loose on the 13-hectare solar farm that was inaugurated in 2019 as part of the Ta Wan Solar Power Plant.

At the plant, Taipower has 3,320 solar panels at ground level, which means it has to clear the grass from their undersides on a regular basis to maintain their full functionality, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

As the plant is part of the company’s efforts to develop green energy, the use of cattle to control the weeds would be a better option than herbicides, Taipower said, adding that the animal grazing project will be carried out on a trial basis.

The 1 megawatt solar farm was inaugurated last year on the 20th anniversary of the 921 earthquake, which caused severe loss of life and property in the central county of Nantou.

The Ta Wan Solar Power Plant site was a waste disposal area during the construction of the massive hydroelectric Mingtan Power Station in Nantou in the 1930s, and it served as a temporary shelter for people displaced by the devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck central Taiwan on Sept. 21, 1999.

Since the opening of the solar farm, it has produced more than 600,000 kWh of energy, enough to supply 1,800 households for a month, Taipower said, citing data valid as of the end of July.

Taipower said it is working on a second phase of the solar farm project, which will have a capacity of 8MW when it is completed in 2021.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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