The Global View

World’s largest solar field goes online in Germany

solar-panel3.jpgYou’ve got to love the Freudian nature of man. Bigger is better. In the 20th century the need to build upwards was immense, from the Empire State Building to the twin Petronas Towers of Malaysia and the Taipei 101, it’s brought some spectacular structures. And, as that race continues at a subdued post, there is the beginning of a new race – to build green.

And Germany entered the fray yesterday when it turned on the world’s largest a solar power field the size of 200 football pitches. It being the start-up phase it is not quite complete and is running at 24MW – roughly enough for 16,000 homes.

According to the German publication, Deutsche Welle:

The facility, located east of Leipzig, uses state-of-the-art, thin-film technology. Some 550,000 thin-film modules will be used, of which 350,000 have already been installed. The direct current produced in the photovoltaic solar modules will be converted into alternating current and fed completely into the power grid.

 

After just a year the solar power station will have produced the energy needed to build it, according to the Juwi group.

When complete, next year the €130 million plant will be feeding 40MW into the grid.

That said, the plant will not last long at the top of the grid. As reported recently, a Portuguese plant at Alentejo will hit 45MW in 2009 and a Californian plant with a capacity of 106.8MW will be up and running by 2011.

Still, Germany can always console itself with the quarter final defeat of Portugal last week.

1 thought on “World’s largest solar field goes online in Germany”

  1. California has had a 334 MW solar power station since the late 1980s. It uses Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), and there are now over 100 applications for similar plants across the American South West. Most of them are 200MW plus. Totalling several GW peak capacity. Spain has a production system with more being built. Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Libya, China Israel, Australia and others are following suit.

    CSP technology is straightforward – unlike PV it harvests the heat of the sun to create steam which spins turbines just like a conventional coal, gas or nuclear power station. Heat can be stored and electricity dispatched to the grid by the operator to meet periods of peak demand and to get the best price.

    More at http://www.trec-uk.org.uk and http://www.desertec.org

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