Spain has now opened the largest solar power plant in the world, the La Florida solar plant in Alvarado, Badajoz. With the opening of this massive solar power plant, Spain has also now passed up the United States as the biggest solar power generator in the world.
Spain’s total solar output is now 432MW, 10MW higher than the US (which is at 422MW). (Note that this is power generated, not solar power capacity, of which Germany is the clear leader.)
The La Florida plant is a “parabolic trough,” Guardian News reports.
“With this method of collecting solar energy, sunlight is reflected off a parabolic mirror on to a fluid-filled tube. The heated liquid is then used to heat steam to run the turbines. The mirror rotates during the day to follow the sun’s movement. The solar farm covers 550,000 square metres (the size of around 77 football pitches) and produces 50MW of power.”
Solar energy met 2.8% of Spain’s energy demand in 2009 and renewable energy as a whole met a total of 12.9% of demand. However, the Spanish government announced in March that it intends to have its renewable energy share reach 22.7% by 2020. With an average of 340 days of sunshine a year, Spain is just the place to take advantage of this clean, green energy source.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Levine Design via flickr