Which renewable energy installations are the biggest of them all around the globe? We’ve compiled the list here:
- Largest solar (photovoltaic) power plant: NOBESOL’s Olmedilla de Alarcón, a 60-megawatt array of solar panels in Spain. Some vital statistics for Olmedilla de Alarcón: it has 162,000 solar modules, was built at a cost of €376 million and generates 85 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.
- Largest wind farm: NextEra Energy’s Horse Hollow Wind Energy Centre (PDF) in Texas, with a total generating capacity of 735.5 megawatts. In operation since 2005, the wind farm features 421 260-foot-tall (79.25-metre-tall) turbines and cranks out enough electricity to power more than 220,600 homes.
- Largest geothermal operation: Calpine’s The Geysers in northern California. The Geysers’ 15 geothermal power plants produce up to 725 megawatts of energy: that’s about 20 per cent of all of California’s green electricity and 40 per cent of the US’s geothermal-generated electricity.
- Largest hydropower plant: China’s Three Gorges Dam. Once it’s completely built, the dam is projected to have a total generating capacity of 22,500 megawatts. The dam cost an estimated $39 billion (US) to build and, as of this month, generated enough electricity to cover 30 per cent of its construction costs.
- Largest tidal power plant: Électricité de France’s Rance River plant, which has been operating since 1966 and has a peak energy output of 260 megawatts.
- Largest wave energy project: The Aguçadoura installation in Portugal. Billed as the world’s first multi-unit wave farm, the Aguçadoura array features three Pelamis wave-energy units that together generate 2.25 megawatts of power.