Reprinted from “China Photovoltaic Think Tank”
A solar photovoltaic power station is a single power station, designed by a single developer (or consortium), and usually has a single outlet connection to the grid. In some cases, it can be deployed on several nearby lands and/or built across multiple stages. This article looks at the largest of these single solar power plants, focusing on power plants over 500 megawatts.
In some places, solar power plants are grouped together in solar parks or clusters to generate higher capacity.
7. Villanueva – Mexico 700MW
Enel Green Power’s Villanueva project in Mexico has expanded from 640 MW to surpass the Kamuthi project since our 2019 list.
The plant is located in Coahuila and is one of several projects on this list that use horizontal single-axis trackers. Therefore, it has a relatively low density and occupies only more than 2,600 hectares.
8. Kamuthi Solar Power Project 648MW
India’s largest independent factory has now slipped to No. 8, although the country will occupy a more prominent position in the upcoming list of solar parks.
The plant was built by Adani in 2016 and covers an area of nearly 1,200 hectares. It is located in Tamil Nadu and has an AC capacity of 648 MW.
9. Lawan-Purohitsar ISTS Power Plant 600MW
Another Indian factory located further north in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan is a new addition to the list with a capacity of 600 MW. It is one of a series of projects to directly supply electricity to India’s Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) signed through tenders.
The photovoltaic project spans the Lawan and Purohitsar communities in Pokhran and was recently connected by SB Energy, which was acquired by Adani from Japan’s SoftBank earlier this year.
10. Solar Star 585MW
Now the second-largest solar power plant in the United States, Solar Star covers multiple sites in Antelope Valley, California.
The factory was constructed in two phases from 2013-2014 using Sunpower Corporation modules. It has a total capacity of 585 megawatts and is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Group.
11. Hongshagang Photovoltaic Project 574MW
Factory No. 11 returned to China. This multi-phase project is concentrated in the semi-desert area around Hongshagang Town in Gansu Province.
It was built by China Industrial Corporation and currently has at least 574 MW in operation, with a final capacity of 820 MW.
12. Topaz photovoltaic project 550MW
Topaz is the third power plant on this list, with an installed capacity of 550 MW. When it was put into operation in November 2014, it was once the largest power plant in the United States.
It was developed by First Solar and built on multiple sites in the Carissa Plain in central California, with a total area of nearly 1,400 hectares. Coincidentally, this includes the site where the world’s first multi-megawatt solar project was built in the 1980s (marked in white in this image).
13. San Gonzalo 549MW
We went to Brazil for the first South American project, which has become one of the largest solar power plants in the world. But this is Italy’s Enel Green Energy’s second project in Latin America.
The plant near São Gonçalo do Gurguéia in the state of Piaui will be constructed in three phases with a final production capacity of 765 MW. When the second phase of the project was completed in February this year, the installed capacity reached 549 MW. The factory uses double-sided modules mounted on single-axis trackers and currently occupies approximately 1,300 hectares.
14. Yinchuan Xinqing Photovoltaic Project 500MW
The last ½ GW+ solar power plant is an array of hillsides in a valley east of Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia. The Yinchuan Xinqing project has a total installed capacity of approximately 500 MW, which will be installed in mid-2018.