Arizona’s enormous solar plant is up and running
The Agua Caliente Solar Photovoltaic Facility might just be the happiest farm in the world. Instead of pigs and cows enjoying a free-range frolic before their inevitable demise, it’s sunbeams being harvested after skittering across 2,400 acres of solar panels.
NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar announced the completion of the project on Tuesday, making it the world’s largest fully operational solar plant. Located near Phoenix, Ariz., the plant can provide 290 MW of electricity, or enough juice for 230,000 homes, according to Gigaom. (That’s roughly the size of the average natural gas plant.)
PG&E customers will get to enjoy the solar power under a 25-year contract. Boasts NRG Energy of the project:
The Agua Caliente project uses clean solar power to avoid the annual emission of approximately 324,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of taking nearly 70,000 cars off the road.
As Gigaom notes, we’ve seen more solar panel installations in the U.S. over the past year and a half than in the past 30 years combined. Keep it up, ’murica!