In Arizona, the world's largest photovoltaic station has become fully operational

    The Aqua Caliente Power Station, located in Yuma County in Arizona in April of this year, reached a design capacity of 290 megawatts . It produces about 650 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year. The construction of the station cost $ 1.8 billion. The area occupied by the station is 971 hectares. The electricity it produces is enough to meet the needs of a medium-sized city. The station is based on thin-film cadmium telluride cells.

    Aqua Caliente is today the world's largest completed photovoltaic station. It is surpassed only by Topaz Solar Farm being built in California - already now its capacity has reached 300 megawatts, and its design capacity is 550 megawatts. In addition to her, recently completed has comparable powera solar power station in Ivanwan (California), but it works on a different principle - hundreds of thousands of mirrors concentrate sunlight on the central tower, heating the collector located in it, and electricity is generated by generators just like any other thermal power station.

    Solar power plants began to be actively built in the USA at the beginning of this decade - four years ago, the largest solar power plant had a capacity of only 20 megawatts. In the southern United States, a hot arid climate and plenty of free space are ideal conditions for solar energy. The capacity of Aqua Caliente is about 10 times less than that of typical large nuclear and thermal power plants, which usually produce several gigawatts. The world's largest Japanese nuclear power plant Kashiwazaki-Kariva had a capacity of 8.2 gigawatts (the station was stopped after Fukushima).

    However, the most powerful power plants on the planet are hydroelectric power plants. The largest of them - the Chinese hydroelectric power station Three Gorges on the Yangtze River produces 22.5 gigawatts. Its dam 185 meters high has a length of 2309 meters. Reservoir area - 1045 km 2. When filling the reservoir, 1.3 million people were resettled - a record number in the history of hydropower.

    Solar power plants are the fastest growing energy segment today. Each year, the number of installed solar generating capacities increases by 50%. The efficiency of modern solar cells is approaching 20%.

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