An animal shelter in New Taipei City’s Jhonghe District (中和) has become the city’s first to use solar panels, bringing a yearly savings in utility costs that could buy 840kg of dog food, the New Taipei City Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office said on Friday.
Solar panels were last month installed on nearly 1,000m2 of the shelter’s roof last month, thanks to a joint venture between the city government and a photovoltaic company, the agency said in a statement.
The solar panels have been made of semiconductive material that uses sunlight to generate electrical energy in a process that does not emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases, agency deputy director Huang Chia-wen (黃嘉文) said.
Photo courtesy of New Taipei City Government Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office
The project helps the agency contribute to Taiwan’s efforts to cut carbon emissions, while having a cooling effect on the shelter, she said, adding that the solar panels have improved the shelter’s insulation and air circulation in the dog pens.
The panels are powering air-conditioners, which would lower the temperatures in the dog pens by 3°C to 5°C during the summer, shelter veterinarian Huang Chih-ting (黃繼霆) said.
The solar cells can generate 76,000 kilowatts of power and cut carbon emissions by 38,000 tonnes, which is equivalent to planting 3,199 trees, she said.
The green energy project has enabled the shelter to get value out of unused floor space, improve conditions for the animals and protect the environment, she added.
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