The use of photovoltaic solar energy is the fastest growing sustainable energy source in the world. Some of the largest solar energy farms producing solar power for public consumption are located in China, the U.S., and India. The growth is coming fast, especially in the deserts of Asia and the Middle East. To give you some idea about this fast-growing energy source, here are some of the largest solar farms currently operating around the world:
Tengger Desert Solar Park
The Tengger Desert Solar Park is currently the largest solar farm in the world. It is located in China and occupies 43 square kilometers of desert land. The farm generates 1,547 megawatts of solar power. It is known as the “Great Wall of Solar Power.” It sits on 3.25 percent of arid land in China’s Tengger Desert. It might not be that big, but this space is actually 10 times bigger than New York’s Central Park. This solar farm can produce 1.5 gigawatts of electricity, which rivals the power capacity of most nuclear power plants. The solar farm still has plenty of space to expand and set up solar met stations. The Tengger Desert Solar Park is expected to be a top power producer in the future.
Bhadla Solar Park
Currently the largest solar farm in India, the Bhadla Solar Park produces 1,365 megawatts off 40 square kilometers of farm space. The said facility is growing rapidly, and they plan to generate an additional 880 megawatts by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Once Bhadla reaches its full solar energy generation capacity, it will become the largest solar facility worldwide. It will help India take a step closer to obtaining 17% of the country’s energy needs from solar power.
Longyangxia Dam Solar Park
Completed in 2015, the Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is a renewable hybrid power of both solar and hydroelectric generators. It occupies 27 square kilometers of land in the Tibetan Plateau in China. The solar farm alone produces 850 megawatts of power, and it is integrated with the hydroelectric farm that generates 1,280 megawatts of power. These two sustainable power sources complement each other. Solar power helps conserve water use, while hydroelectric dams put balance in the variable energy production of the PV solar panels.
Villanueva Solar Farms
Fourth on the list of the world’s largest solar farms is the Villanueva Solar Farms located in Coahuila, Mexico. It is considered the largest in the North and South America occupying 24 square kilometers and producing 828 megawatts of power. It is continuously growing as the 427 MW Villanueva 1 Park and the 327 MW Villanueva 3 Parks were commissioned in 2018. The farms are slowly adding small chunks of power with a goal of reaching 1,700 gigawatts per hour every year once it becomes fully operational. The facility aims to supply 35 percent of Mexico’s electricity by the year 2024.
Kamuthi Solar Farm Station
Last on the list is the Kamuthi Solar Power Station, which is the largest solar farm in Tamilnadu, India. The 10 square kilometers was built in eight months and went online to produce 648 megawatts of power in 2016. The farm has 2.5 million PV solar panels that generate sufficient energy to power up 750,000 homes. Every day, this solar farm is cleaned by a fleet of robots that are charged by the solar panels they service.