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Biggest Solar Power Plant – A Moving Target Being Superseded by even Bigger Solar Plants from First Solar

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Solar Power Plants till a couple of years were quite small compared to the mainstream energy power plants.Most power plants were in the double digit range with no Solar Farms having the capacity of 100 MW or greater.This is in reference to PV Solar Power Plants and not to Solar Thermal Plants which are bigger in size.Note Solar Thermal Plants by  the very nature of technology require larger sizes to be economical just like Thermal or Nuclear Power Plants.On the other hand PV Power Plants do not gain much in economies of scale and government prefer giving subsidies to distributed rooftop solar installations rather than large solar farms.However falling costs of solar panels and rising costs of fossil fuels has led to the emergence of large power plants.Currently Ontario,Canada hosts the largest solar plant in the world built by the world’s biggest producer of Solar Thin Film Panels First Solar.It is to be soon surpassed by First Solar and Sunpower solar plants being built in the US where utility solar plants are preferred.Note Solar Power Plants are being constantly superseded by even bigger solar plants so the title of the Biggest Solar Power Plant is a moving Target.USA is the where the biggest power plants are going to be built,here is a list of the Top US Solar Companies/Installers

Largest Solar Thermal Power Plant

The largest Solar Thermal Power Plant was built in the Mojave Desert in California using Power Troughs by company called Lux.It was built in the 1980s and continues to generate power even today though the solar thermal power technology came to an abrupt stop after subsides were removed and oil prices crashed.

The Blythe Solar Power Plant being built by Solar Millennium with a  capacity of around 970 MW will be the biggest solar power plant in the world when/if gets built.

Largest Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant

The Sarnia Solar Power Plant built in 20 MW phases by First Solar is the biggest PV Power Plant in the world till 2010 with a capacity of 97 MW.First Solar has sold the Sarnia Plant to Enbridge.

The Second Biggest Solar PV Power Plant is the Montalto di Castro photovoltaic power station n the Lazio region of Italy near Rome,which was built by Italian Developer SunRay using Sunpower high efficiency solar panels.

Future PV Power Plants

The Ordos Power Plant in China being built by First Solar in phases should be the largest when completed with a power capacity of a massive 2000 MW.The project ran into problems but with First Solar tying up with a Chinese power utility the project has higher chances of completion.

The Topaz Solar Farm in California will be the largest in 2014 if the project s expected to begin construction in 2011 and be fully operational by 2014.The Farm is being built again by First Solar with a capacity of 550 MW


Abhishek Shah

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