Monday, September 21, 2009

China Plans Massive Solar Power Development

China recently announced plans for development of the world's largest solar power plant. The 2000 MW plant, to be built by U.S.-based First Solar, Inc, will be orders of magnitude larger than any solar plant currently operating when fully implemented. According to the pvresources online directory, the largest current plant is a 60 MW facility in Spain. Seven out of the top 10 largest plants are in Spain, with 2 in Germany and 1 in Portugal. Only 2 plants in the U.S. are in the top 50, a 14.2 MW facility at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, and a 12.6 MW plant in Boulder City, Nevada. Over 70% (2300 MW) of European large-scale photovoltaic (PV) generation capacity is in Spain, with Germany in second place at 698 MW. Total worldwide large-scale PV capacity is currently about 3700 MW.

The new Chinese plant will be located in Ordos City in the desert region of Inner Mongolia. It is planned to be built in phases from 2010 through 2019. Phase 1, a demonstration project of 30 MW, will be followed with phases of 100 MW, 870 MW, and 1000 MW.

Image: 580 kW solar plant in Mombach Germany from First Solar, Inc.

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