The beauty of "largest" records is that they just keep on growing. Florida Power & Light Company announces the selection of SunPower to build the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the United States, a 25-megawatt power plant in DeSoto County, Florida, expected to go on-line in 2009, contingent on approval of the Florida Public Service Commission. SunPower's reputation rests on the high-efficiency (22 percent efficient) Gen 2 technology photovoltaic chips, which have been in mass production since 2007."These agreements confirm the growing trend in the U.S. to build solar power plants at a scale rivaling those in market-leading countries such as Germany and Spain," said Howard Wenger, senior vice president, global business units for SunPower.
SunPower will install the highest efficiency solar panels on the market as well as the SunPower Tracker system, which tilts toward the sun as it moves across the sky. This maximizes energy production and requires less land space for installation, compared to fix-tilt systems. According to the press release: "The combination of SunPower's high-efficiency panels and high- energy collection tracking systems, delivers the world's highest power density solar systems and low cost energy."
The DeSoto FPL installation with 25 MW outpaces the former world records such as
- the current record holder in the USA, Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, nominal capacity, 15 MW.;
- Shell's Pocking Solar Installation in Germany, 10MW;
- GE-Powerlight Solar plant in Portugal at 11 MW;
- Solar in Jumilla Spain at 20 MW.
And the records will keep on coming:
- the OptiSolar Ontario site at 40MW;
- 80-MW San Joaquin Valley Customer Choice Solar Farm in California at 80MW in 2011.
Solar plants using other technologies than photovoltaic are also larger, such as Nevada Solar One's 64 MW of thermal oil driven turbines. All of this will pale in comparison with the 500 to 850 MW Stirling Engine Thermal Solar Installation planned in California.
Overview of Photovoltaic Solar Installations
World’s Largest Solar Project for Nevada Military Base
Largest Solar Park in the World Opens in Germany
Portugal gets World Biggest Solar
Powering 20,000 Homes: The World's Largest PV Solar Farm Opens
Ontario Gets Monster Solar Farm
Largest Solar Farm Ever to be Built in California
Non-photovoltaic Solar Energy Generating Plants
Nevada Solar One
Stirling Engine Thermal Solar Installation