Taipower's Wanda generating station becomes eco-education site

The discovery of an endemic species of soybean was the catalyst

Taipower's Wanda Power Station. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Taipower's Wanda Power Station. Image: Wikimedia Commons

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--The Wanda hydro-electric generating station, completed by the Japanese just before the outbreak of WWII is now an environmental education center.

In 2012 Taipower began an overhaul of the Wanda power station 台電萬大電廠 , installing three new generators and upgrading a fourth. In 2013 the installation was completed, replacing aged equipment that had been in use since the late 1950's.

Then, in 2013 a species of unique endemic Taiwan soybean was discovered in the lush mountains around the Nantou County Renai Township Wanda power plant. To cultivate this rare Taiwan endemic plant, Taipower invited domestic biodiversity and ecological conservation experts together to plan rehabilitation of the area. At the same time, it decided to promote the Wanda plant as a green energy and environmental education base.

Taipower then took 3 years to train some of its engineers as environmental education teachers and design six sets of environmental education courses. The site is now Taiwan's first renewable energy and environmental teaching site. Taipower said that NTU Institute of Plant Biology Professor Huang Tseng-chuan (黃增泉) had compared this rehabilitation exercise with that of the Chichiawan stream (七家灣溪) Formosan landlocked salmon (櫻花鉤吻鮭). After Wanda suceeded in growing the soybeans in 2013, Taipower decided to change the old post office dormitory near the power plant into an education center.

The Wanda power station director and colleagues worked hard to invite domestic environmental education experts, local school teachers and their students together with local residents to work together on the project. Nearly two years later, 22 power plant engineers were trained as environmental seed teachers, and given six sets of environmental education courses, to create an environmental education facility.

The six courses include Wanda’s iPower, Wanda's appearance, Home for All, Dormitory between Earth and Sky, Wanda explorer, and Wanda Eco-park. All the courses examine the symbiotic relationship between power and life, electricity and nature.

The Wanda powerstation has gained an Environmental Protection Administration environmental education certificate. It was officially unveiled in September. A Taipower spokesman said that the activities at the power plant showed Taipower's pursuit of a symbiosis between electricity generation and nature. Taipower may set up other such teaching sites and try to become a more environmentally sound business.