The ‘World Wonders’ Of Solar Power!
Solar power is the fastest growing source of global energy, overtaking growth from all other generation sources in 2016. A new report by the International Energy Agency says solar accounted for almost two-thirds of new capacity globally.
From an entire island in American Samoa to the nation state of Vatican City, here are 6 surprising solar power installations around the globe.
Apple recently completed construction of its massive new 175-acre campus in Cupertino, California. The entire project is powered 100 percent by renewable energy including 17 megawatts (MW) of rooftop solar, one of the largest on-site solar installations in the world.
Related Reading: What Apple Can Teach You About Solar Power
Dubai is building the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) project. It will cost Dh14.2 billion ($3.86 billion USD) to build and deliver 700 MW of power. The independent, single-site project, include the world’s tallest solar tower at 260 meters (853 feet) tall.
CSP systems generate solar power by using mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight, or solar thermal energy, onto a small area.
Kamuthi, Southern India
With abundant sunlight, the country of India is a natural candidate for solar energy. An estimated 300 million people do not have access to electricity in India, but with the falling price of solar, a big push is being made to power the country with clean energy. This facility in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, has a capacity of 648 MW and covers an area of 10 sq km (3.86 sq miles).
It is the largest solar power plant at a single location, taking the title from the Topaz Solar Farm in California, which has a capacity of 550 MW. By 2022, India aims to power 60 million homes by the sun. It is part of the government’s goal to produce 40 percent of its power from non-fossil fuels by 2030.
Ta’u, American Samoa
The island of Ta’u in American Samoa, located more than 4,000 miles from the West Coast of the United States, derives it’s power from a field of solar panels and batteries. Over 5,300 solar panels, 1.4 MW in total, and 60 Tesla Powerpacks totaling 6 MWh of storage have allowed residents of the island to switch from diesel-fueled generators to clean, renewable solar energy. The island can remain fully powered for 3 back to back to back days without sunlight!
In 2009 the Vatican signed off on a massive 100 MW photovoltaic installation, Europe’s largest solar power plant. The main solar array is located on a 740 acre site near Santa Maria di Galeria, while solar panels have also been installed on the rooftop of Paul VI’s conference hall. It’s no wonder the Italian media has dubbed Pope Benedict XVI the “Green Pope”!
The White House
In 2013, under the Obama Administration, the White House was retrofitted with a roof of solar panels. However, it was President Carter who first lead the “green push” at the iconic residence, adding a solar thermal water heating system in the late 1970s. And in 2002, under President George W, Bush, a total of 167 solar panels were installed on White House grounds, including the roof of a maintenance shed and the roof of the presidential pool house.
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