This article highlights the 6 biggest solar power plants in the world today.
Around the world, demand for solar power has skyrocketed. Governments are easing credit availability and offering financial incentives for firms in the solar energy production sphere. This has seen forward-thinking innovators expend their energy in solar power plants. Europe happens to be the dominating force when it comes to solar power today. But the biggest of the six largest power plants worldwide is in the U.S (California).
#1 – Topaz Solar Farm, USA
Topaz Solar Farm is currently the world’s largest solar energy plant. It’s was built by First Solar, Inc. between 2011 and 2014, in Carrizo Plain (to the northwest area of California Valley), and has an expected capacity of 1,100 Gigawatts (GWh). 9 million photovoltaic panels based on thin-film technology are installed in an area of land spanning 260 hectares. This is a mega solar energy project of epic proportions that is contributing to California’s green energy goals.
Pacific Gas and Electric announced that it will purchase all the power coming from this plant.
The total cost for this solar power plant is over 2.5 billion US dollars.
#2 – Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park, Spain
Located in Oldedilla de Alarcon, Spain, this is one of the world’s largest solar power plant. Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park was completed in July of 2008 and uses photovoltaic technology to convert light into energy. There are more than 270,000 solar panels installed on sites, which cumulatively generate over 87,000 megawatt-hours annually. Just so you get the picture right, this is enough energy to power 40,000 homes.
The total construction cost for Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park was 530 million US dollars.
#3 – Puertollano Photovoltaic Park
Also located in Spain, this is another one of the largest solar power plants in the world. Puertollano Photovoltaic Park has an installed capacity of 50 megawatts, enough capacity to power over 39,000 households.
Just the solar energy produced here annually saves the world from 84,500 tons of CO2 every year. Over the next 25 years, Puertollano Photovoltaic Park will spare the world from 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
The total construction cost for this solar power plant was 530 million US dollars.
#4 – Moura Photovoltaic Power Station in Portugal
This massive solar power production center is located in Moura municipality (Alentejo, Portugal), which is among the sunniest places in Europe, but also one of the most depressed – economically. Construction work for this dual-phase project was completed in 2010, with a total capacity of 46 megawatts. There are more than 376,000 panels on this plant, occupying 130 hectares of land.
Total construction cost for Moura power station was 265 million US dollars.
#5 – Waldpolenz Solar Park, Germany
Built in on a military airbase east of Leipzig, Waldpolenz Solar Park is the largest thin-film photovoltaic power system in the world. This solar plant underscores Germany’s commitment to green energy. The Waldpolenz state of the art solar park has an installed capacity of 40 megawatts. Over 550,000 thin-film solar modules were used in the construction of this plant.
The Waldpolenz Solar Park construction cost was 137 million US dollars.
#6 – Arnedo Solar Plant, Spain
Located in La Rioja, a Spanish region known for its wine, Arnedo Solar Plant produces a massive 34 megawatts annually. This is more than 3enough power for 12,000 households and will spare the world from more than 375,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. The Arnedo solar power plant is set up on 70 hectares of land and entails over 172,000 panels.
Total construction cost for this power plant was 192 million US dollars.
As Europe and the U.S invest heavily in solar power, more companies in Asia and developing countries are playing hard to catch up. There’s increased appetite for solar power as government strives to meet environmental goals. In the next 20 years, we’ll most definitely see exponential growth in the industry.