Just this week, China announced that the world's largest floating solar power plant has been turned on and connected to the local power grid. Located just offshore from the town of Huainan, they couldn't have picked a more fitting area because it once was coal-mining town that was flooded. Today, atop those flood waters sit hundreds of solar panels.
The project produces about 40 MW of electricity, enough to power about 15,000 homes. Granted that in the larger scheme of things, 15,000 is next to nothing. But the number is small by design. The project was meant to test if the concept works, and now that it has demonstrated that it does, hundreds of similar projects are popping up all over China with even bigger scale and size.
With hundreds of solar panels floating on water, the project symbolizes China's intention to become the leader in green technology and renewable power. And with the recent withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, it might just do that unopposed.