What are the World's Largest Solar Projects?
Featuring over 2.5 million individual solar PV modules, and on 2,500 acres, the Kamuthi Solar Power Project supplies energy to ~300,000 homes. The Kamuthi Solar Power Project is a 648 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) farm in Tamil Nadu, India, in the town of Kamuthi, in the Ramanathapuram district. When it was first built and became operational (in 2016), Kamuthi was the single largest solar project globally, however, as you will see in this article, there are actually a few larger solar projects in India, China, and elsewhere worldwide today.
The Bhadla Solar Park in the Bhadla village in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan, India is currently India's largest solar park. However, China is developing an even larger solar park than Bhadla (the Golmud Desert Solar Park). Please see Green City Times' article on the Bhadla Solar Park here for more on Bhadla, Golmud, and the largest solar parks in India and China today, as well as throughout the world.
[At the time that this original Green City Times article was originally published, Kamuthi was the single largest solar PV project in the world, but since then, many larger PV projects have come online. To see a list of the largest solar plants in the world as of the end of 2021, please see the article on the Bhadla Solar Park.]
A lone solar worker strides along PV panels of Kamuthi Solar Power Project>>>
Crown Jewel of Tamil Nadu
Kamuthi cost US $710 million, and became operational in 2016. As a result, India became the #3 country in the world for operational utility-scale solar PV parks, behind only China and the United States. To reach the third spot, India had to leapfrog the United Kingdom, and this solar farm gave them just enough edge.
Tamil Nadu, home to the Kamuthi Solar Plant, is a relatively large state in India at the South-east tip of India, and the capital is Chennai. Known as the most urbanized state in India, Tamil Nadu is industrialized and produces a significant quantity of manufacturing. However, the Kamuthi Solar Plant remains the crown jewel of Tamil Nadu.
Adani ventures into solar energy with Kamuthi
Kamuthi was built and funded by Adani power, a company that was founded in 1996 as an energy trading company; and since became India's largest private energy company. In 2011, Adani became the largest private thermal power generating company in India.
Adani took their first step into power generation with a massive coal power project in Mundra (built in 4+ stages between 2009-2012). This huge solar energy plant - Kamuthi - was Adani’s first venture into massive solar projects; and as Adani begins to look beyond coal, into sustainable energy, so too does the whole country of India seek a greener energy future.
How Long Did it Take to Build Kamuthi?
The Kamuthi Solar Power Project is a massive structure, however, it was built in only eight months. This feat was accomplished through the dedication of 8,500 team members, who worked 24 hours a day to complete the project. Perhaps as a result of the quick and efficient build, this project cost significantly less than the Topaz Solar Plant, an only slightly smaller sized plant than Kamuthi, but still a relatively large solar plant, in the Mojave desert.
Who Had the World's Largest Solar Farm Prior to Kamuthi?
The record for the world's largest individual solar PV farm prior to Kamuthi belonged to the Topaz Solar Plant in California, which has a total capacity of 550 megawatts, took 2 years to build, and cost $2.5 billion. The Kamuthi plant, by comparison, has a capacity of 648 megawatts. Kamuthi took ~1/3 less time to develop than Topaz, at ~1/3 the price. However, both of these solar plants have since been surpassed by subsequent developments of even larger solar PV parks; in India, China, and other parts of the world.
Both the Kamuthi and Topaz solar farms have been eclipsed in size by even bigger solar parks, again mostly in India (although some of the largest solar PV parks are elsewhere in the world; most substantially in China). China, the US, and India, stand as world leaders in the production of large solar farms, but other countries also have significant large solar projects.
Even larger than Kamuthi, is the Longyangxia Dam Solar Park in China, at 850 MW, which went operational in February 2017. And bigger still, is the 1GW Yanchi Ningxia solar park located in Ningxia, China, The 1 GW Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park in the south Indian province of Andhra Pradesh became fully operational in July 2017.
The Noor solar plant in Abu Dhabi has a capacity of over 1 GW and was fully functional as of June 2019. Tengger Desert Solar Park takes up over 10,000 acres in China’s northwestern Ningxia province and has a total capacity of 1,547 MW. India has a couple of solar PV parks that have around 2 GW of capacity: Bhadla Solar Park and Pavagada Solar Park. Read more about the>>> the 2 GW Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district.
The following list has some of the largest PV parks in the world [note: this list was generated before solar parks like Noor, Bhadla, and Pavagada, were completed]:
- Tengger Desert Solar Park, China – 1,547MW
- Sweihan Photovoltaic Independent Power Project, UAE – 1,177MW
- Yanchi Ningxia Solar Park, China – 1,000MW
- Datong Solar Power Top Runner Base, China – 1,070MW
- Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park, India – 1,000MW
- Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, China – 850MW
- Enel Villanueva PV Plant, Mexico – 828MW
- Kamuthi Solar Power Station, India – 648MW
- Solar Star Projects, US – 579MW
- Topaz Solar Farm / Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, US – 550MW FROM: power-technology.com/features/the-worlds-biggest-solar-power-plants
How Green is India?
India was the first country worldwide to set up an official government department of non-traditional energy resources, India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. India has been working towards more sustainable energy sources since the 1980s.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, whose mission statement is to “increase the share of clean power, increase the availability of energy and improve its access, improve energy affordability, and maximize energy equity", plans for India to generate 40% of the country’s electricity from renewable resources by 2030. Renewable energy currently accounts for over 1/3 of electrical generation in India, and well over 1/3 of energy production capacity in the country. India has a goal of powering over 60 million Indian homes with solar energy by 2022.
What Plans Does India Have for More Solar Plants?
India will soon have developed the world’s newest, largest solar power parks with other ultra-high capacity solar power parks - Pavagada and Bhadla Solar Parks. India is developing approximately 25 more large solar parks, with capacities around, or over, 1 GW; and now even two 2+GW solar parks (the Bhadla Solar Park, and the Pavagada Solar Park). India is also focusing on bringing clean electricity to remote villages and is taking on many other environmental sustainability initiatives.
India, along with China, is continuing to work on environmental sustainability measures like solar farms and other renewable energy projects as part of the transition these countries are in the process of making; from coal-based energy generation to supply a large share of these countries' electricity needs, to renewable energy like solar power. Newly developed large solar farms in India, and throughout Asia and the Middle East, will have a substantial, positive impact on the environmental health of the planet.
Please also see:
The 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Plant, and Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System
GCT Featured Articles
Oslo, Norway – Eco-Capital
Oslo: Net Zero Future | Oslo has fleets of clean mass public transit - trams, electric buses and ferries - powered...Read Post
Regenerative agriculture creates carbon sinks; turning farms into healthy ecosystems that sequester carbon with plentiful...Read Post
Sustainable City – CHICAGO
Chicago might not be widely known as a green city, however, the city has a vast network of sustainable mass public transit...Read Post
Vauban and the Plus-Energy Sun Ship
Vauban is an exemplary sustainable town and a zero-emission district. Most energy for buildings is from rooftop solar...Read Post
Climate Solution – Sustainable Agriculture
Benefits of Sustainable Agriculture | Sustainable ag. turns farms into thriving biodiverse lands that produce...Read Post
Austin, Texas – A Sustainable City
Eco-friendly Capital | Austin is emerging as a leader in renewable energy, community solar, and LEED building efficiency...Read Post
12+ Ways You Can Help the Environment
Lower your carbon footprint, save energy, and help the environment. Here are 12+ actions for sustainable individuals:...Read Post
10 Ways to Reduce Food Waste
by Jane Marsh | Significant amounts of food waste originate from cities. Urbanites can use food waste reduction methods...Read Post
Modern Sustainable Waste Management Technologies
5 Ways for SMART Cities to Implement Sustainable Waste Management | by Jane Marsh | Cities are implementing zero-waste...Read Post
5 Categories of Change in Climate
Climate change is adversely affecting all parts of the earth. There have been dramatic increases in greenhouse gas emissions...Read Post
10 IoT and Sustainability Technologies for Smart Cities
Technologies Benefit Sustainable Smart Cities | by Jane Marsh | As the conversation around greenhouse gas emissions...Read Post
Profiles in Sustainable Cities – San Diego, California
Sustainable cities, like San Diego, have eco-city designs that prioritize consideration of social, economic, and environmental...Read Post
Offshore Wind Farms in the United States | Block Island Leads the Way
First of many US offshore wind farms | The United States' 1st operational offshore wind farm is the Block Island...Read Post
Clean Energy Jobs are UP, and RE cost is down
Clean Energy JOBS | The future of employment in the energy sector is in clean energy, energy efficiency, and renewable...Read Post
Using Technology to Provide Clean Water to Cities
How Technology Can Help Cities Avoid Another Flint Water Crisis | Article by Jane Marsh | The green movement is influencing...Read Post
How Safe & Clean is Nuclear ☢️ Energy?
When looking at climate solutions for clean energy generation, it is prudent to look at all clean energy sources. Nuclear...Read Post
Kamuthi Solar Project, Bhadla Solar Park; and the largest solar PV farms in India, China, and other countries
Featuring over 2.5 million individual solar PV modules, and on 2,500 acres, the Kamuthi Solar Power Project supplies...Read Post
Microgrids spread across Africa
Developing Microgrids | As African nations push for rural electrification, many look to microgrids as a sustainable...Read Post
Future Generations of Batteries
Next generation li-ion batteries | Next-gen lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries can charge quickly, are rechargeable,...Read Post
Clean Hydrogen Power
Hydrogen (H2) and the Clean Energy Transition | Hydrogen created with clean energy is one of the most promising...Read Post
Nuclear – necessary energy
Both nuclear and renewable energy are needed in the global energy mix to help fight climate change. In order to cut...Read Post
COP21 – good news for the planet
NDCs and Net Zero Pledges | At COP21, commonly referred to as the Paris Climate Accord, nations sent representatives...Read Post
Plan for the Expansion of Smart Meter Infrastructure
Modern SMART Meters | Many buildings in America today still rely on inefficient energy infrastructure, such as older...Read Post
Recycling – how we are doing as a global community; waste-to-energy
Effective waste management strategies for cities include citywide recycling programs, circular economy strategies, as...Read Post
Permanent ban on new coal mines and other sustainability priorities
Strategies for mitigating climate change | What are the best strategies for mitigating global warming? How is the...Read Post
10 Sustainable Technologies Improving Air Quality in Cities
GREEN Tech for Healthy Air | Article by Jane Marsh | Cities are the heart of every global region. They are headquarters...Read Post
Shortfall in International GHG Reduction Pledges
Is the World Going to Meet its Climate Targets? There is a substantial shortfall between GHG emission reduction pledges...Read Post
The Global Fight Against Climate Change; NDCs and Net Zero Targets Worldwide
Nationally Determined Contributions | As part of the ongoing global battle against climate change, almost 200 countries...Read Post
Breakthroughs in Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Solar Thermal Technology
Solar - the most abundant renewable energy on the planet | Recently there have been dramatic breakthroughs in solar...Read Post
Renewable Energy – Breakthroughs in Wind Energy
Onshore Wind Farms - Cheap and Clean Energy | Onshore wind farms now provide the least expensive form of energy, renewable...Read Post
Economy vs. the Environment
Economic growth does not have to come at the expense of the environment. Sustainable technologies (such as renewable...Read Post
Desalination – Clean Water for a Thirsty World
The two desalination plants featured below; one in Carlsbad (San Diego county, California - featured photo), and one...Read Post
10 Countries Promoting the use of Electric Vehicles (EVs)
Why Is There A Need For EVs Globally? In its World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency identifies pathways...Read Post
Smart City Energy Infrastructure
Updating Infrastructure for Developing Renewable Energy in Cities | People-centered smart cities are cropping up worldwide....Read Post
EVs and the Future of Urban Transit
Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure | What will be done to develop electric vehicle infrastructure? With cars that...Read Post
The Role of E-mobility Trends in Decarbonizing Transport
Decarbonizing the Transportation Sector with E-mobility | It's no secret that transportation is a major source of...Read Post
Putting a Price on Carbon
Carbon Markets | Carbon cap and trade systems are regulatory policies in which countries, provinces, states, and even...Read Post
Deforestation and solutions; including reforestation | Deforestation of our planet, for centuries, has led to issues...Read Post
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – Conference of the Parties | World leaders, dignitaries,...Read Post
Carbon tax – a levy on pollution whose time has come
Defining effective carbon taxes | A carbon tax is a levy in countries and regions on: fossil fuel power plants, oil...Read Post
Improving energy efficiency
Energy Efficiency Foundations for Green Building: Energy Star, LED and CFL Lights, LEED technologies When it comes to...Read Post
Decoupling and Divestment to Reach Sustainability
Economic Growth Without Environmental Impact Decoupling in eco-environmental terms can be defined as economic growth...Read Post
ISEGS – A Shining Example of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)
Ivanpah Solar Electrical Generating System (ISEGS) Ivanpah Solar Electrical Generating System (ISEGS) is a 392 MW solar concentrated...Read Post
Car-sharing and Ride-hailing
Sustainable Commuting | Many ride-sharing fleets are converting to electric cars. Car-sharing (a.k.a. ride-sharing)...Read Post
California – Current Progress of a Climate Champion
Learning From California's Struggle to Balance Decarbonization With Energy Resilience | Since California passed the...Read Post
A Close Look at San Diego’s HERO Program
San Diego, Green Buildings, HERO Program | The importance of green energy for use in homes and businesses is becoming...Read Post
Thanks for the great post. I like the way you describe the unique content.