At the 2018 China PV Peony Industry Development Forum, the Jiangsu Productivity Promotion Center has shared the results of an evaluation carried out on the research entitled “System Standardization for PV-powered Production of Peonies for Oil Use” undertaken by Jiangsu GCL Peony Industry Development Corporation.

The forum was held in Suzhou of Anhui Province with the objective of establishing a cooperative platform for the PV-powered production of peonies (for oil), which will promote the sharing of production knowledge and technique while furthering the scientific, stable development of the industry. Li Yucai (former party committee deputy secretary and deputy director of the State Forestry Administration), Kuang Tingyun (a fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences), Zeng Xiaoming (director of the New Energy Department at the Anhui Energy Bureau), Sun Yaojie (vice dean at the Fudan University Rural Development Institute), and Sun Xingping (President of GCL New Energy) were present to actively discuss the issues of PV-powered peony production, PV-powered agricultural industry development, and revitalization for rural areas.

At the forum, it was stated that after an on-site investigation of GCL’s Yongqiao peony fields, a review at related information on techniques used, and discussions and inquiries, the following was determined:
The GCL System Standardization for PV-powered Production of Peonies for Oil Use has researched the cultivation of peonies (for oil production) in the critical aspects of seedling cultivation, transplanting, growth management, irrigation, fertilization, and disease/pest control by means of GCL’s independent and innovative design of its PV-power modules. This has filled the nation’s gap in this field, making GCL an industry leader. GCL’s research achievements are quite innovative and serve as a very important guide for the future development and strategies of the integration between PV power generation and the agriculture industry.

The peony fields investigated are located on the grounds of the 40 MW GCL Symbiotic PV Power Station in Yongqiao of Suzhou. 40 hectares of land (a production scale of industrial size) there are devoted to peony cultivation. The plants, used for making oil, are 1 – 1.5 meters tall. They require a lot of sunlight but do not fare well in excessive heat; they are best suited to cultivation in an environment that allows for 20 – 30% shade from the sun. GCL New Energy has taken the needs of peonies into full account in the design of their PV modules, strictly adhering to these PV-powered agriculture industry standards: no harm to the land, output, or farmers, and no disputes over sunlight, space, or land. The space between PV module rows and their heights off the ground were scientifically calculated, and with flat, single-axis smart trackers, the peonies get the perfect amount of sunlight.

Peonies bloom with the arrival of warm spring breezes, and the expanse of these flowers underneath the PV panels is the greatest proof of GCL’s standardized production system. GCL New Energy Vice President Zhang Yaobang stated, “Our next step is to work with locals in processing the seed oil and producing peony health supplement capsules, and we also plan to promote the flower fields as a tourist destination.”

GCL New Energy has been working on the development of cultivating peonies for oil at PV power stations since 2016, and peonies are currently grown on a total of over 530 hectares at 13 power stations in Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, and Shanxi. GCL expects the amount of land devoted to peony planting will reach 2,000 hectares by 2020.

In its early planning stages, GCL New Energy established PV-powered peony industry specialization and standardization as important aspects of development. In 2016, the Jiangsu GCL Peony Industry Development Corporation (PIDC) was founded. The corporation mainly works in the areas of peony cultivation as well as derivative product R&D, production, and marketing. PIDC boasts a professional management and technical team. Many members of the team have years of experience with peony cultivation and R&D, making them quite suited to the tasks of cultivation (with high yields of high-quality peonies), management, and variety breeding and analysis.

At the forum, PIDC signed research collaboration agreements with the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Botany and Jiangnan University. Zhang Yaobang and PIDC was the signee from the GCL side. PIDC will thus work with these research organizations to bring about greater achievements for the industry and promote healthy development for the PV-powered peony industry.


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