July 8, 2008

Make watts, not war.

A former East German air base has been converted into the world's biggest solar plant.

The Waldpolenz Solar Park is built on a surface area equivalent to 200 soccer fields, the solar park will be capable of feeding 40 megawatts into the power grid when fully operational in 2009.
I quite enjoyed the fact that an air base, equivalent of 200 soccer fields in soccer-crazy Germany, has been made into a solar plant. Now if you were to really take over soccer fields to make solar power I don't think the Germans, Eurocup loss notwithstanding, will be too happy! ;)

Although, like Logan Jenkins, I put on my skeptic hat whenever someone claims the 'world's biggest/largest' title, let me point out that plans are in place for the US to take over the title of the "world's largest solar park." But, I think there is a dearth of political will to help make this happen, lobbying from renewable energy industry groups notwithstanding.
The Spanish engineering firm Abengoa has announced that it's sealed a deal with the Arizona Public Service (APS) Company to build the largest concentrating solar plant in the whole world about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona. It will be one of the first cases where a utility relies on solar power for its day-to-day operations.

And at a build cost of $1 billion, it will generate 280 MW of electricity and be capable of powering around 80,000 homes -- in just three years.

But. There's a catch.

The whole deal will fall to pieces if the US Congress doesn't pass the clean energy tax credit that's set to expire at the end of 2008. So says the CEO of Abengoa, Santiago Seage, who told The Arizona Republic that If the tax credit for solar power plants is not renewed, "Solana will not happen."

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