Photos: The world’s largest solar arrays
Image 1 of 10
Nellis Solar Power Plant
The Nellis Solar Power Plant at the Nellis Air Force Base in Clark County, Nevada, just northeast of Las Vegas, has about 70,000 solar panels that occupy 140 acres. It is said to be the second largest photovoltaic array in the US, generating 25 gigawatt hours of electricity every year. That supports about a quarter of the power used at the base.
White Sands Missile Range
This installation in New Mexico is the US Army’s largest solar array and power plant to date, generating about 10 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year. It opened in January 2013 and is estimated to save the Army about $930,000 a year.
Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System
This system is located in the Mojave Desert near Ivanpah, California. It is owned by NRG Energy, Google, and Brightsource Energy. It built on 3,500 acres of public desert, providing solar energy to more than 140,000 homes in the area. It became operational in December 2013.
Huanghe Hydropower Golmud Solar Park
This is a 200 megawatt power plant located in Golmud, Qinghai Province, China. The output is about 317 megawatt hours per year. Construction by Astroenergy began in 2009 and was completed in 2011.
Catalina Solar Project
The 143.2 megawatt Catalina Solar Project is built on 1,100 acres of land in California’s Mojave Desert. It generates enough energy to power 35,000 homes through San Diego Gas & Electric Company, and was built in two phases. Catalina is EDF Energy’s largest solar project in the US, and it has been fully operational since August 2013.
Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant
In 2010, this power plant in Ontario, Canada held the title of world’s largest. It’s an 80 megawatt solar project, with 1.3 million thin-film solar panels on 950 acres of land. Early estimates put production at 120,000 megawatt hours, and it was developed by First Solar, Inc.
Agua Caliente Solar Project
The project, (which actually may be the largest in the world at this time) cost $1.8 billion to build and is owned by NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar. It operates on 2,400 acres of land between Yuma and Phoenix, Arizona and serves 225,000 homes.
Perovo Solar Park
Perovo Solar Park is a 100 megawatt panel in in Crimea, Ukraine that was completed in 2011. There are more than 450,000 modules at the park, which was developed by Activ Solar, an Austrian-based solar developer.
California Valley Solar Ranch
This solar power plant is in San Luis Obispo County, California. The 250 megawatt plant is on 3,200 acres of land and generates power for roughly 100,000 homes. The plant, a project of SunPower and NRG, is part of California’s plan to generate 33% of its energy from renewables by 2020.
Mesquite Solar’s 3,800 acre plant is located west of Phoenix, Arizona, and is in its first phase of construction. The project, which currently powers 56,000 homes and generates 150 megawatts, will eventually generate up to 700 megawatts and power 260,000 homes. It is a project by Sempra US Gas and Power.