Topaz solar farm and Desert sunlight farm, US
The Topaz solar farm is located in the north-western part of the Carrisa Plains in San Luis Obispo County, California, US. The 550MW plant was developed by First Solar and later acquired by BHE Renewables in January 2012. Commissioned in 2014, the project covers an area of 4,700 acres and is equipped with more than eight million solar modules. Topaz supplies electricity to approximately 180,000 households in California.
The Desert Sunlight solar farm is located in the Mojave Desert in the Riverside County, California, US. Developed by First Solar, the facility is owned jointly by NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services, and Sumitomo Corporation of America. Commissioned in 2013, the power plant is equipped with eight million panels that generate power enough for 160,000 homes.
Solar Star Projects, US
Solar Star Projects comprises two co-located projects, Solar Star 1 and Solar Star 2, in the Kern and Los Angeles counties, Rosamond, California, US. The two projects have a combined capacity of 579MW and comprise more than 1.7 million solar modules installed on 3,200 acres of land. They were developed by SunPower Corporation and owned by BHE Renewables.
Completed in March 2015, the projects supply electricity to more than 255,000 homes. They are equipped with the SunPower® Oasis® Power Plant technology, which positions the panels to track the sun during the day and increases energy capture by up to 25%.
Kamuthi Solar Power Station, India
The Kamuthi solar facility in Tamil Nadu, India, has a total generation capacity of 648MW. Covering 2,500 acres (10km²) and consisting of 2.5 million solar panels, the site is estimated to supply enough power for 750,000 people.
Enel Villanueva PV Plant, Mexico
Located in the Mexican state of Coahuila, the photovoltaic (PV) facility comprises more than 2.5 million solar panels installed across 2,400ha in the Mexican semi-arid region. The 828MW power plant became fully-operational in September 2018 and has the capacity to produce more than 2,000GWh a year.
The Enel Group invested approximately $710m in the construction of Villanueva. The plant’s initial capacity was 754MW, which was increased to 828MW following a 10% capacity extension option added to the energy sales contracts.
Enel deployed a unique pilot programme using digital technologies and automation for the plant’s construction. The programme included the use of GPS-controlled machines for moving the earth, drones for conducting 3D topography, and robots for automatic installation of panels.
Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, China
The Longyangxia solar park has a capacity of 850MW, sufficient to power 200,000 households. The site sits on the Tibetan Plateau in northwestern China’s Qinghai province and spans 27km². The plant is installed with approximately four million solar panels and is operated by State Power Investment Corporation, one of China’s top five power generators.
Phase one of the power plant was completed in 2013, while phase two was completed in 2015, with a total construction cost of approximately six billion yuan ($920.84m).
The project was developed by Huanghe Hydropower Development and is integrated with the 1,280MW Longyangxia hydroelectric power station.