California is Now Home to the World’s Largest Solar Farm
Henry Reeve / 2 years ago
Where is the world’s largest solar plant? California. Topaz is a massive 550 megawatt plant, with the Topaz solar project completing its final 40-megawatt (AC) phase. This has now created history, as it’s not only the first 500-megawatt+ solar farm to crank up in the US, but it is the largest solar plant in the world.
There are some 9 million solar panels installed at Topaz, spanning over 9.5 square miles. The project itself cost a huge $2.5 billion, with construction starting 2 years ago now. MidAmerican Solar is the owner, a Pheonix, Arizona-based subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables. The 9 million+ solar panels will create enough electricity to power 160,000 average Californian houses.
The Topaz project was done for the reason of functioning as a productive grassland habitat for native plants an animals, all while being used for passive farming of the sun’s energy. Water used during the construction of the solar farm was primarily for dust control, and during operation, the panels themselves don’t require cleaning or washing, with vegetation being maintained in order to help with dust control.
Eric Wesoff from Greentech Media said “As of today the project has installed 9 million solar panels across 9.5 square miles in San Luis Obispo County on California’s Carrizo Plain. Construction began in 2012 and was expected to be complete in early 2015—so call this an on-time delivery. It’s an impressive feat that should power 160,000 homes on Pacific Gas and Electric’s grid.”