The Indian state of Gujarat has built the world’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant, a field of solar panels the size of Lower Manhattan. After only 14 months of preparation, they’ve just switched it on, adding 600 megawatts of power to the grid. That’s enough to power a medium-sized city’s worth of homes. Thing is HUGE.
The 5,000-acre solar park should help India meet its ambitious plans for moving to sustainable energy. The country aims to be at 15 percent renewables by 2020 — right now it’s only at 6 percent. Projects like the Gujarat plant will help by taking advantage of India’s intense sunshine.
However, India’s already in danger of being pushed out of the record-holding spot for world’s biggest power plant. Tunisia is working on a 2,000-MW plant, to open by 2016. The Gujarat solar field is already the size of some towns, so it’s not clear how much bigger plants can get — at least in non-desert countries — before they start having to build them over homes, fields, and household pets. Maybe it’s FINALLY time to start panelling the Moon, like I’ve been saying all along.