A thriving alternative energy market in Tampa, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Georgia and many other sun-kissed cities have been the major driving force in the ongoing clean energy boom in the USA. However, the Sun Belt cities in the US are not the only places to reap the financial rewards of embracing solar. Cities in other parts of the world are also doing that. They are delivering the clean energy benefits to businesses and communities through the construction of solar farms. These state-of-the-art facilities come in all different shapes and sizes. We have made a list of fantastic five, some of which are located in the US and some outside the country. One common aspect that all of them share is, they are not only making the most of their abundant sunshine, but are also doing it in a spectacular way:
- The Planta Solar 10 and 20 (PS10 and PS20) solar power plants, Spain
Located in Sanlucar la Mayor, Spain, the Planta Solar 20 (PS20) solar power plant has the capacity to power 10,000 homes. This giant plant opened its doors back in 2009. With 1,255 mirrors positioned across a wide vista of 210 acres and a receiver mounted on the central tower, this Spanish solar center cuts a pretty picture amidst an arid region.
“Water (is) pumped up the 160-metre (541-foot) structure and through the receiver boils into steam. This steam is used to turn a turbine to produce electricity,” writes a National Geography correspondent while explaining the power generation mechanism employed by the farm.
- The Disney Solar Farm in Florida
A solar facility designed like Mickey Mouse – what could be better and more perfect than this for the Happiest Place on the Earth? With 48,000 solar panels arranged in the shape of Disney’s iconic rodent, the Disney Solar Farm in Florida is simply adorable. Constructed by Duke Energy Florida near the Walt Disney World Resort in California, this solar farm definitely adds another feather to the entertainment giant’s green initiative portfolio.
- The 2 MW “Heart of New Caledonia“, Grand Terre
The Pacific island of New Caledonia will be the proud host of the world’s most beautiful solar farm in the world when ‘The Heart of New Caledonia’ opens its doors to the public. It is currently being built on Grand Terre, New Caledonia’s largest island. Built with 7,888 panels, this magnificent farm is designed to serve 750 homes. According to The Guardian, the power plant will help save around 2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over its 25-year lifespan.
- The Topaz Solar Farm, California
Located in southern California, this solar farm consists of 9 million cadmium telluride solar modules, and spread over a sprawling 5.6 square kilometers. One of the largest photovoltaic power plants in the world, it can produce enough electricity to power around 180,000 homes when operating at full capacity. This is expected to offset approximately 407,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year.
- The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, Nevada
Located in the desert just outside Las Vegas, this massive facility opened its doors in December 2014, and within just one year it reached the pinnacle of solar power generation, bagging the number one position in public energy sector in February 2015. However, this spectacular farm had its fair share of controversy – the plant was held responsible for scorching at least 130 birds to death. Fortunately, researchers at the facility have now figured out a solution to the problem.
If you think that alternative energy is a big thing in Tampa and other Sun Belt cities alone, we have news for you. Even Antarctica is catching up with the solar game. As the trend continues, researchers maintain that in just a few decades, the entire world could be able to free itself from the dependence on fossil fuels. And that’s good news for green energy enthusiasts.