What’s the largest solar farm in the world? It seems there’s no one keeper of this title, with an increasing number of large-scale solar projects being implemented across the world, and a rising number of cities now mostly powered by clean energy.
Following the 2015 Paris Agreement, there’s been a surge in the number of solar farms being built as governments all over the world strive to reach their national clean energy targets and contribute to reducing global carbon emissions by 2020.
For a long time, the USA has led the pack in terms of big solar farms, but today India and China are dominating this space with multiple large-scale solar projects being commissioned and built within months. Australia’s even getting in on the action, switching on its first solar farm and battery project in far north Queensland.
While the crown of the largest solar farm will continue to pass on, we’ve tracked down the five biggest solar farms in the world as they stand today.
1. Noor Complex Solar Power Plant, Morocco
Noor Complex is the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, located in the Sahara Desert. The project has a 580-megawatt capacity and is expected to provide electricity for over 1 million people once completed by 2020.
Noor 1, the first phase of the three-part project provides 160 MW of the total 580 MW capacity and has already reduced the country’s carbon emissions by hundreds of thousands of tonnes annually, since it was switched on in 2016.
2. Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, India
This solar farm in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India has a capacity of 648 megawatts and covers an area of 10 square kilometres. In 2016, this project was deemed to be the largest solar power plant at a single location. The project comprises 2.5 million individual solar modules and cost approximately 679 million USD to build.
At full capacity, the Kamuthi solar power plant is expected to produce enough electricity to power approximately 150,000 homes.3
3. Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, China
Spread over more than 25 square kilometres, the Longyangxia Dam Solar Park consists of 4 million solar panels. The plant’s sheer size and 850 megawatts capacity made it the largest solar farm in the world in February 2017. This impressive solar project is located in the Qinghai province of China. The park generates around 220-gigwatt hours of electricity per year, which is the equivalent of powering 200,000 households. 4
4. Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park, India
With the Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, China took over the title of the largest solar farm however, India soon reclaimed this with the launch of its 1000 MW Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park in Andhra Pradesh.
Spread over 23 square kilometres, this solar park was operational by May 2017 and by October, had already generated over 800 million units of energy and saved over 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
5. Shakti Sthala, Pavagada, Karnataka, India
Located in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district, this solar project will be India’s third to take the title of country’s largest solar park in the last three years. An incredible accomplishment!
The enormous 2,000 MW capacity park spans across 52.5 square kilometres over five villages. When completed, the Pavagada solar farm will produce enough electricity to power approximately 700, 000 households.
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