Marine Solar Park built in Changwon

Largest-ever solar power generation tower in Korea

Changwon City’s new landmark, Marine Solar Park
Changwon City’s new landmark, Marine Solar Park

A large ship sits on the top of Eumjido in Jinhae-gu, which is famous for the Marine Park with a warship exhibition hall and a smaller islet Dongseom linked to the mainland twice a day at low tide.   It is not an ordinary vessel, however. This is a sail ship-shaped tower called the Marine Solar Park, the largest-ever solar power-generating facility in Korea both in size and capacity, becoming another great tourist attraction for its must-see list for visitors.

□ Background                                                                                                              The Marine Solar Park was initiated when the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy chose it as the nation’s first landmark project in solar energy in 2006. It was designed to build a world-class renewable energy brand that can be developed into a specialized tourism resource.

□ Features                                                                                                                    The solar park is mainly composed of two parts: Exhibition floors that refer to the hull of the ship and the mast-shaped solar panel tower that stands on top of it. The ship with a total floor space of 6,336 square meters is sitting on a lot of 14,977 square meters.   The tower is 136 meters high, highest among all facilities built on the nation’s islands. The solar panels have been installed on the side of the building that faces south. Those panels with solar power capacity of 600㎾/h will generate 1,264 kW a day, equivalent to consumption by 200 households.

At 120 meters, the tower has an observatory that looks like a giant laid-down cylinder. It is a duplex that can house as many as 70 people at a time. All-glass walls of the observatory enable visitors to have a panoramic view of the entire island. Geoga Bridge, Busan New Port, the Marine Park, Eumji Bridge, and the scattered small islands in the sea all come within sight. One corner of the observatory is glass-floored that lets visitors feel the giddy height of the building, as if they are floating high up in the air.   The four-story exhibition floors on the lower part of the tower will house a 644- square-meter conference room that can accommodate up to 500 people at a time. Others slated to be installed in the area are a renewable energy exhibition hall, an event exhibition hall, a climate change simulation center and a cafeteria.

□ Utilization and effect                                                                                          Changwon City will open the solar park to the public in April this year, when the Jinhae Cherryblossom Festival is held. Before its official opening, trial operation of the facility, construction of driveways and deck trails surrounding Eumjido, and landscaping will be completed.

The city plans to install night lights for the park and include it into a new tourism route, encompassing the Marine Solar Park, the Marine  Museum, Eumji Bridge, Udo Pedestrian Bridge, dotted small islands and Geoga Bridge. The Marine Solar Park will become not only a tourist attraction, but also a learning site for greener environment and clean energy and a business center for companies as well.

Panoramic view from the park’s observatory
Panoramic view from the park’s observatory

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