10 Largest Solar Farms in the World

Tim Hamlin
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Largest Solar Farms in the World

Here are the following belongs in the world’s top ten largest solar farms list. The solar array in the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is the world’s largest.

Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System – Located in California, this solar farm that opened in 2014 is a project of NRG Energy, BrightSource Energy, and Google. It covers 5.6 square miles (14 square kilometers) and accounts for 392 megawatts (MW) of electrical generation capacity.

Solar Star – This solar farm in California is spread across 2,350 acres (930 hectares) and has a generation capacity of 550 MW. It covers five square miles (14 square kilometers).

Gandum Solar Park – This Spanish facility covers 3,430 acres (1,364 hectares) and can generate 50 MW.

Nexa Solar Park (Solar PV) – This solar farm in Germany, which opened in 2013, covers 1,125 acres and has a generating capacity of 36 MW.

Solar PV – This Greek solar farm opened in 2013 to cover 660 acres (270 hectares) and has a generating capacity of 30 MW.

Alma Solar Park – This Danish solar facility is spread over 472 acres (190 hectares) and has a generation capacity of 25 MW.

Solar Lab – This German facility covers 384 acres (155 hectares) and has a capacity of 20 MW.

10 Largest Solar Farms in the World

Tucson ElectricParking Lot Solar Farm The parking lot of the Tucson Electric Power Company near Sahuarita, Arizona is in the top 5 largest solar farms. It is a 10 megawatt (MW) solar farm built in 2009. With 10,000 solar panels, it covers 250 acres and generates enough solar energy to power over 1,500 homes.

Solar Star The Solar Star solar farm is located in Rosamond, California. It features an array of photovoltaic solar panels which generate electricity from the sun's rays. The solar farm requires about 25 acres of land and generates up to 550MW.

Topaz Solar Farm The Topaz Solar Farm is located in San Luis Obispo County, California and was completed in 2012. It is the second largest solar farm in the world. It is spread across 56 acres and has 9 million solar panels. It generates enough electricity to power over 150,000 homes.

Genesis Solar Energy Project The Genesis Solar Energy Project is one of the largest solar facilities in the world. It has an array of photovoltaic crystalline silicon solar panels which are mounted on a sloped plain. The facility is located in the Mojave Desert near Tonopah, Nevada. The facility can generate 550 MW with an annual capacity of 1,300 GWh.

Natural Resources for Electricity Generation

Solar energy is a natural resource, renewable and not depleting. The sun sends out an average of 10,000 terawatts of the solar radiation to the earth amounting to around 174 petawatts of the radiation. This means that the solar radiation that hits the surface of the earth in one hour is more than three times the amount of energy consumed by mankind over entire year. Solar radiation can be captured to generate electricity by four basic processes:

  • Photovoltaic panels
  • Thermal solar stations
  • Solar tower power plants
  • Solar pond
  • Photovoltaic panels

These use the photovoltaic process, which utilizes semiconductor layers to generate electricity. The panel converts the monochromatic solar radiation into direct current electrical power by transferring electron particles. The photovoltaic panels are usually used in homes, businesses, industries, and in farms. Some of biggest photovoltaic power stations in the world are listed below.

Ivanpah Solar Power Facility (United States)

The Ivanpah solar power facility is owned by SunPower Corp. located in California, US. The plant has a capacity of 740 megawatts (MW) and features three solar thermal generation units. The power plant uses the biggest solar reflector dishes (347.5 meter) ever constructed for the purpose of solar generation.

Longyangxia Dam Solar Park (China)

Solar Energy

Here are ten of the largest solar farms in the world. By the way, we are still talking about Solar Energy Production.

Laonan Solar Farm China The Laonan Solar Farm, located in Qujing City, Yunnan province, is one of six national solar farms in China. China is known for it’s new and ambitious solar farms, as well as other renewable energy projects.

Laonan’s 34MW of electricity is generating clean power 158 million solar panels on a 35 square kilometer premise. The solar park has a working life of 25 years and has reached a capacity factor of 0.517%.

Wind Energy

{1}. Ensha-Showa Solar Park (Japan)
{2}. Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park (India)
{3}. Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (USA)
{4}. Solar Energy Generating Systems (California, USA)
{5}. Longyangxia Solar-Thermal Power Station (China)
{6}. Charanka Solar Park (India)
{7}. Golmud Solar Park (China)
{8}. Ili Solar Power Plant (China)
{9}. Sanlachen Solar Power Station (China)
{10}. Rooftop Solar PV, United States

Solar power is the clean, renewable source of energy that will work when the grid is down and the sun is shining. Whether you believe Al Gore or not, we need to make some changes if we want to conserve our planet. The growth of solar power is one of the most concrete steps we can take. Solar power plants are built all across the world. Let’s check out some of the largest and most important solar power stations in the world.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is the heat within the earth that has been created by the natural radioactive decay of elements found in the earth. The heat energy is trapped within the heart of the planet and is then conducted by metals and liquids which are found in the earth. Geothermal energy is used by volcanic activity, hot springs, fumaroles, hot deserts, and geysers.

The term geothermal was first used in 1892. Thermal energy is one form of heat transfer from the inside of the earth, and is currently the most commonly used form of geothermal energy. As opposed to hydrothermal activity, geothermal energy does not heat the water to the point where steam and pressure are created. Geothermal plants extract steam and hot water from below the earth's surface to run turbines which generate power. The extracted steam is used in heating and in the industrial manufacturing process.

The United States is the greatest producer of geothermal energy in the world with 23% of the world market share. Experts predict that the united States and Japan could meet all of their electricity needs through the use of geothermal because of the large amount of resources available.

Hydro Energy

Plant, China.

This project will be the largest hydro electric project in the world. It will be built by the Three Gorges Corporation in China, a state owned enterprise.

The plant will generate 28,500 megawatts from its 26 generators located on the Dadu and Jinsha rivers. These two rivers join to form the the Yangtze river which is China’s longest river.

These powerful hydroelectic generators will control runoff from the Yangtze river thus creating electricity for the nation.

We began with two industrial sites in Portland and Milwaukie where there are already facilities and are now constructing a new factory in Clackamas County that will have about 90 fulltime employees when it’s running at full capacity.

The Popularity of Solar Energy

According to recent reports, over 2 million homes in the U.S. had installed solar panels by the end of 2016.

The Solar industry is growing very rapidly and there are huge solar farms being built all over the world to produce large amounts of power from solar panels. Whether it’s the country's biggest solar farm in Kamuthi, India or the largest solar plant in the world, Shiyan Huadong Concentrated Solar Power Plant, China, in this article, we are going to list the ten largest solar farms in the world.

Copper Mountain Solar Facility

Copper Mountain Solar Facility is located in Boulder City, Nevada in the U.S. It was built by the company First Solar and it had an initial in year capacity of 13.9 MW. The actual name of the facility is Copper Mountain Solar 3. It has a capacity to produce 19 million kilowatts per hour each year.

Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One

The Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One is a solar thermal energy located in California in the United States. It is owned by the company, Abengoa Solar and it has a solar capacity of 550 MW. It is famous for being the first solar project to come up under Pacific Gas and Electric's Solar*Connect program from 2010.

Solar Star

H ave You Heard of Solar Farms?

A solar farm, as it sounds, is a collection of solar panels at one location. The newest efficient technology is nearing production of solar cells that generate the same amount of power as a nuclear reactor. The current leader is a a solar farm in California with 10,000 panels which produce a whopping 8.7 megawatts of energy. A typical utility-scale solar plant consists of an array of photovoltaic panels, which are usually placed on sloped roofs or on freestanding platforms. This allows for natural light and a decreased risk of vandalism. Solar panels are also placed on scrub or desert lands where agricultural produce is in limited supply. Solar panels usually wear out by the end of their estimated 25-year lifespan. Scrap metal recycling at solar farms is becoming part of the routine.

Read below for an infographic of the 10 largest solar farms in the world:

  • Largest Solar Farm
  • Largest Solar Farms by Country
  • Largest Solar Farms by Size

Largest Solar Farms in the World

Here are the following belongs in the world’s top ten largest solar farms list. The solar array in the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is the world’s largest.

Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System – Located in California, this solar farm that opened in 2014 is a project of NRG Energy, BrightSource Energy, and Google. It covers 5.6 square miles (14 square kilometers) and accounts for 392 megawatts (MW) of electrical generation capacity.

Solar Star – This solar farm in California is spread across 2,350 acres (930 hectares) and has a generation capacity of 550 MW. It covers five square miles (14 square kilometers).

Gandum Solar Park – This Spanish facility covers 3,430 acres (1,364 hectares) and can generate 50 MW.

Nexa Solar Park (Solar PV) – This solar farm in Germany, which opened in 2013, covers 1,125 acres and has a generating capacity of 36 MW.

Solar PV – This Greek solar farm opened in 2013 to cover 660 acres (270 hectares) and has a generating capacity of 30 MW.

Alma Solar Park – This Danish solar facility is spread over 472 acres (190 hectares) and has a generation capacity of 25 MW.

Solar Lab – This German facility covers 384 acres (155 hectares) and has a capacity of 20 MW.

10 Largest Solar Farms in the World

D isadvantages of Solar Farms

Although they're good for the environment, solar farms can pose a few challenges due to their massive size and for the creation of the solar farms. The conversion of natural habitats, such as swamps and grasslands, to create more land for solar farms is a serious concern. Additionally, big solar farms can be prone to bird strikes, mainly due to their size and their proximity to migrating birds.

Another drawback of solar farms is the effect they can have on the surrounding communities. Many solar farms have been known to displace local communities through evictions.

Rabal Solar Park, Spain

The Rabal Solar Park is located in Valencia, Spain, on a former military airfield.

Agua Caliente Solar Project, U.S.

The Agua Caliente Solar Project is located in Yuma County, Arizona, on 1,600 acres of land.

Charanka Solar Park, India

The Charanka Solar Park is located in Patan district, Gujarat state, India.

Tengger Desert Solar Park, China

The Tengger Desert Solar Park is located in Tengger Desert, China, on 9,146.43 acres of land.

Sahara Solar Park, Egypt

The Sahara Solar Park is located in the country of Egypt.

Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, U.S.

Concentrated Solar Power Vs Photovoltaic Panels

Concentrated solar power (CSP) is the practice of using mirrors and lenses to concentrate sunlight onto a central point. The concentrated light is then focused onto a fluid which is heated to create steam, and the steam runs generator turbines. The steam cools and condenses and the water is then circulated back to the boiler.

Concentrated solar thermal (CST) power plants are capable of producing high temperatures and have been in use for commercial purposes since the 1970’s with plants over 10 megawatts in capacity. Systems are custom built for solar thermal projects.

The benefits of using CSP for power plants are that it generates electricity when it’s needed, storage isn’t required (storing the heat isn’t as efficient as storing the actual electricity), and it's less environmentally hazardous compared to transforming solar power to AC and then to DC to store it.

The downside to CSP is the cost. CSP systems cost more to build than photovoltaic systems and the cost isn’t reduced by mass production. Once the power plant is built, it’s the costliest of all solar energy sources.

Final Thoughts

Solar energy resources have been used since ancient times. The Solar Energy Research Institute (KOHEI) was established in 1955 by the Japanese government in order to promote and develop renewable sources of energy.

From that time, solar energy has been used for household, commercial, industrial, and utility applications, as well as for power generation, irrigation pumping, and water pumping. At present, almost all photovoltaic generation technologies use semiconductor devices.

These technologies are most usually used in a fixed location to make solar electricity. This is called "concentrated solar power." Photovoltaics (PV) is a much more energy efficient method of converting the sun's energy into electricity compared to conventional means of burning fuel.

The largest solar farms in the world include some very large solar plants in California, as well as solar farms in Spain and China. Although the largest solar farm in the world is the Solar Star project, that farm is on leased Federal government land and not available for projects like these 10 largest solar farms in the world.