- Agua Caliente Solar Park
The Agua Caliente Solar Project was built in 2011 in Yuma County, Arizona. A 290 MW facility, it was awarded the Project of the Year in the Renewable Energy Awards.
- Cestas Solar Farm
Europe’s largest solar plant, Cestas Solar Farm in France is our youngest selection on this list. It was completed in October 2015 and has a 300 MW capacity. As solar subsidies have slowed in France and other European nations, many are hoping that this is a hopeful sign of a solar-oriented future in Europe.
- Solar Energy Generating Systems [SEGS]
Solar Energy Generating Systems [SEGS] is one of the oldest and largest operating solar plants in America. It pulls power from 3 different locations and 9 total plants, totaling a MW capacity of 354 and powering 140,000 homes in the California area. SEGS is a good place to look if you are wondering how solar plants have changed with the increase in technology. Initial construction began in 1984 and was not completed until 1990, while some solar plants created now only take about 9 months to complete.
- Ivanpah Solar Power Facility
The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility (located just southwest of Las Vegas) is the largest thermal solar station in the world. It has a capacity of 392 MW and powers 80,000 homes in the Southern California area. It opened in 2014, and after a rocky start to its efficiency, it is now operation at an efficiency higher than expectation and looks to be a bright spot in the further development of thermal solar plants.
Copper Mountain Solar Facility
At the time, the Copper Mountain Solar Facility was a huge undertaking in the United States, as it was to be the largest photovalic solar plant in the United States. Though it has since been eclipsed, the 458 MW plant is still largely efficient, powering 89,000 homes in the California and Nevada regions.
- Huanghe Hydropower Golmud Solar Park
The Golmud Solar Park (located in the Qinghai Province in China) is one of the most acclaimed solar plants in the world. After its completion in 2011, it won the 2012 China Quality Power Project Award and was the largest solar plant in China until 2015. It has a capacity of 500 MW.
- Desert Sunlight Solar Farm
The Mohave desert has one of the highest concentration of different solar plants in the world, but Desert Sunlight Solar Farm is easily the biggest in terms of production. It has a capacity of 550 MW, while the next closest in the Mohave (which we’ll get to later) is down at 392 MW. Desert Sunlight was not completed until early 2015 despite construction beginning in 2011. After some early controversy regarding the negative impact this plant had on desert wildlife, it is now up and running and is also one of the most efficient solar plants in the world.
- Topaz Solar Farm
Upon its completion in 2013, Topaz Solar Farm was the largest solar plant in the world to date. It has been surpassed since, but it is still one of the larger and more efficient solar farms. Located in San Luis Obispo County, California and covering 9.5 square miles, Topaz has a 550 MW capacity and gives power to roughly 160,000 homes in the California area.
Solar Star is the largest solar plant in the United States, located near Rosamond California. It is coming up on its first anniversary since being opened, as it began production in June 2015. Solar Star has a capacity for 579 MW and provides power to 255,000 homes in California.
- Longyangxia Dam Solar Park
Built in 2013, Longyangxia Solar Park is located in the Longyangxia Dam in the Qinghai Province of China. Combined with a hydroelectric power generator, the solar portion has a capacity of 850 MW, making it just shy of the largest solar plant in the world.
- Gujarat Solar Park
The largest solar plant in the world is the Gujarat Solar Park, located in western India city Gujarat. It has a host of plants within it (46 to be exact), including Charanka Solar Park (which would be in the top 10 largest solar plants just by itself). It has a capacity of 856 MW, and it is only getting bigger as it is still under construction. Gujarat saves around 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere each year.
There are a lot of ways to save money on your electric bill. Our favorite is to go solar with LGCY Power. There are also 40+ other ways you can save electricity and lower your power bill.
- Go Solar. Naturally. Save up to 20 percent on your electric bill alone.
- Install attic insulation – keep cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Use ceiling fans
- Use shades, blinds & drapers – keep the sun from overheating your home in summer and open them to let the sun heat your home in winter.
- Limit use of portable heaters
- Cover bare floors
- Turn exhaust fans off
- Fix leaky faucets
- Install low-flow showerheads
- Take shorter showers
- Hang light-colored curtains – Keep the sun from overheating your home while letting light in.
- Change AC/heating filters monthly
- Switch ceiling fan direction – In winter, fans can blow heat down from the ceiling.
- Close fireplace dampers – You can also install glass doors to keep warm air in the room
- Install a programmable thermostat – Raise the temperature a few degrees to lower the cooling costs, and lower it a few degrees to lower heating costs.
- Keep your freezer full – It uses less energy. Consider a gallon container of water to take up space.
- Set refrigerator temperature – between 30° and 42°
- Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances
- Run appliances at night
- Turn off your dishwasher after washing – Open the door and let your dishes air dry.
- Turn exhaust fans off
- Use microwaves and toaster ovens. – They use less energy.
- Use copper-bottom posts – They heat more efficiently, and use small burners for small pots.
- Turn off burners – when food is most ready and let the residual heat finish the cooking.
- Plant trees and shrubs – and use awnings outdoors to keep the sun from overheating.
- Install energy-efficient windows and doors – Use double-glazing, solar screens and window films.
- Close unused vents – and close off unused rooms.
- Time your lights – Use a timer to turn lights on in the morning and turn them off when you’re not home.
- Don’t block vents.
- Unplug electronics – Unplug battery chargers when not charging a device.
- Switch to CFL bulbs
- Laptops use less electricity than desktops
- Use a power strip – and switch off when you’re not using the electronics.
- Wash and dry several loads at once – so the dryer doesn’t have a chance to cool down.
- Wash with cold water as much as possible.
- Air-dry your lightest fabrics.
- Look for Energy Star – when buying appliances.
- Clean the lint filter after every load.
- Install fluorescent tubes in work areas
- Insulate hot water pipes – Check for leaks and insulate the first 6 feet.
- Repair leaky ducts
- Get an insulation wrap for your water heater.
- Turn off water heater when going on vacation and install a timer to turn it off when you’re not home during the day.
- Lower your water heater to 120°
- Grill out more during the summer to keep the oven from heating up your home.