World’s largest solar plant opens in California

The plant will generate enough electricity to power 160,000 homes

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 11 February 2015


The world’s largest solar power plant has opened in California, US, on February 9. The 550 megawatt (MW) plant is situated in the desert region of California’s Riverside county.

Named Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, the farm was built using a US $1.5 billion federal loan-guarantee programme from the US Department of Energy, reports Time. Though conservatives lawmakers have criticised the loan guarantee programme, saying it wasted billions of dollars of taxpayer’s money, the Department of Energy claims the project is expected to make a profit of $5 billion to $6 billion, says an online report published in USA Today.

The plant is located on over 1,600 hectares and is managed by the Federal Bureau of Land Management.  It was constructed over a period of three years. An average of 440 people were employed during the construction period, reports USA Today, and the plant currently has 15 full-time employees. 

The plant’s official opening came weeks after California Governor Jerry Brown proposed a plan to produce 50 per cent of the state's electricity from renewable resources over the next 15 years, says a report published by Reuters. The plant will generate enough electricity to power 160,000 homes.


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