In May of this year, CHIMEI completed a one-year-long ecological survey of its Green Energy Park, covering the diversity of animals, plants, and soil properties. Results of the survey indicate that 282 species of animals and plants have been recorded in the park, showing that the ecology of animals and plants in our Green Energy Park is quite rich compared with that in general low-altitude farmland and rural areas. Its soil, common loam of the alluvial plain surrounding the Zengwen River, is of good quality, and there is no heavy metal pollution.
The CHIMEI Green Energy Park was officially opened in August 2020. Under its core concept of "symbiosis of trees and electricity", a solar power plant was set up on the premise of preserving existing trees and vegetation to the greatest extent possible. In addition to having installed solar panels with total potential energy generation of 20 million kWh per year, the park also has a rich and valuable natural ecology. Nevertheless, it lacked systematic ecological survey data. CHIMEI saw that it was necessary to conduct a detailed ecological survey of the park to maintain its existing natural ecology. Through professional academic surveys, CHIMEI has gained a deeper understanding of the ecological characteristics of its Green Energy Park, which will serve as the basis for monitoring the future ecological impact of the region over the long term.
Therefore, in April 2021, CHIMEI commissioned the team of Prof. I-Ling Lai from the Graduate Institute of Bioresources of the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology to conduct a quarterly ecological survey for a period of one year (a total of four surveys). The survey targeted three categories: plants, animals, and soil. The park was divided into 14 survey areas, according to characteristics of landscape and vegetation, and the ecology of each area was recorded.
In the plant survey, a total of 282 species were recorded, which included 148 native species, of which 10 species endemic to Taiwan and 12 protected species were planted. A total of 282 animal species were surveyed, including 14 species endemic to Taiwan, 17 subspecies endemic to Taiwan, and 8 protected species.
The survey also showed that the grass in the solar panel area was flourishing. This was a result of CHIMEI adopting a green construction method. Zero concrete was used in the panel foundations and zero cement and asphalt were used in the entire park area, meaning that plants are free to grow under the photovoltaic panels. In addition, the park is regularly weeded and maintained. Although this means increased maintenance costs, it is beneficial to the growth, proliferation, and diversity of plants. When solar panels are cleaned, only water is used, so the risk of adverse effects on the soil is reduced.
The animal survey indicates that fireflies and dragonflies, which are both indicator organisms, have been recorded in the park, meaning that the park’s habitat is in a good state. Presence of birds of prey, such as collared scops owls and black-winged kites, also indicates that the park has a complete food chain and superb biodiversity.
At present, the survey has established complete data on the animal and plant species as well as the soil properties of the Green Energy Park. In the future, CHIMEI will use this survey as the basis to conduct long-term monitoring and plan conservation actions, thereby continuing to protect its biodiversity.