Traditional sources of energy like oil and coal have proved [disastrous for the planet, and being that they’re a finite resource, the world is finally beginning to catch on to the idea that we need to consider a plan b.
Enter renewable energy. Emerging super powers like India and China have gotten the memo that the future of energy will have to come from somewhere other than the ground, and incredible projects are now being built to make it happen.
Massive solar farms, made from millions of solar panels that harness the sun’s energy, have started sprouting up all over the world. And they look incredible from an aerial view. Here are some of the biggest solar farms across the globe.
Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, China
The 850 megawatt-capacity Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is located on the Tibetan Plateau in eastern China. It’s one of the largest solar farms in the world, stretching over ten square miles. The site is harnessing solar power from a whopping four million solar panels, amassing enough energy to power 140,000 homes.
Topaz Solar Farm, California
In the Carrizo Plain, the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm is soaking up a lot of Southern California sun. According to NASA, at 9.5 square miles, the farm is roughly one-third of the size of the island of Manhattan — or 4,600 football fields. The plant utilized 9 million cadmium telluride solar modules. Operated by BHE Renewable, Topaz has been turned on since 2014, and it’s capable of powering around 180,000 homes.
Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, California
Nestled in the Mohave Desert, the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm is pretty much on par with Topaz, utilizing 8.8 million cadmium telluride solar modules to harness 550 megawatts of energy. Co-owned by NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services, and Sumitomo Corporation of America, the farm began producing energy in 2015. At 6 square miles , the project has enough power to serve 160,000 California homes. According to First Solar, who developed Desert Sunlight, each year the alternative energy source displaces about 300,000 metric tons of CO2 — the equivalent of removing 60,000 cars from the road.
Kamuthi Solar Power Project, India
Going online in November of 2016, Kamuthi Solar Power Project in the state of Tamil Nadu contains 2.5 million solar panels. Covering four square miles, it has a capacity of 648 megawatts. The solar farm is cleaned each day by a robotic system that’s charged by the project’s own solar panels. India, like China, has made a huge push in recent years to invest in the solar power industry.
Huainan’s Floating Solar Farm, China
The Chinese city of Huainan is home to the largest floating solar power farm on Earth. The farm, which according to Quartz encompasses an area larger than 160 American football fields, was built on a lake that covers a collapsed coal mine. It’s capable of producing 40 megawatts of power — comparatively small to the others listed here, but remember this plant is floating on water. According to Sungrow, the supplier of the solar panels used, the water that now resides on top of the former coal mine is so mineralized that the area would be valueless otherwise. It’s one attempt to find alternatives for the region’s reliance on coal-based energy. The solar farm produces enough energy to power 15,000 homes
Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park, India
The Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park, located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, has a whopping 1000 megawatt capacity. A joint development project that’s being overseen by the Solar Park Implementation Agency and Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Limited, the Kurnool park is 9 square miles in size, according to the Press Trust of India. According to PV Magazine the park was slated to fully connect to the grid in mid-July.