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China’s first solar-powered air conditioner that can also send excess electricity to the power grid began rolling off a Gree Electric Appliances production line in early December, according to Xinhua News.

The first 50,000 units will be sold in the American market. After that, the units will also be available for purchase in China, the report said.

The air conditioner, independently developed by Gree, mainly uses solar power, using normal electricity only when solar power is inadequate, said Huang Hui, chief engineer of Gree Electric Appliances.

The American government is supporting efforts to send excess solar energy to local power grids, and so the model should be popular in America, said Huang.

As a major producer and consumer of air conditioners, China also boasts great market potential for solar-powered air conditioners, Huang said.

Huang said the second-generation of the model will begin production in January 2011 and that it will be 100% solar-powered, adding that it will run without producing any emissions and achieve real environmental friendliness.

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