Reputedly famous for its creamy cheeses, Serpa is described in a travel guide as "a sleepy agricultural hilltop town of white houses". Quite soon this ancient walled town, founded in 400 BC, will be catapulted into the future. It's about to get an 11-megawatt solar power plant, comprising 52,000 photovoltaic modules, in what is being dubbed the "world's largest solar photovoltaic power project." (If I had a buck for every time I've typed that claim I could almost retire.) The three movers and shakers on this project are as follows: GE Energy Financial Services is putting up the dough ($75 million USD) so they get to own it. PowerLight have designed and will operate the facility. And local Portuguese renewable energy company, Catavento, will maintain and manage it. According to the press release this will all happen on a 60-hectare (150-acre) southern-facing hillside that will remain productive farmland. And if all goes to plan (construction starts next month) the solar juice will flow by January 2007, so it can power 8,000 homes, and save more than 30,000 tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions. Gorby will be pleased. Via ::International Herald Tribune.