A list of the 7 largest solar parks in the world, four of which are located in India and the remaining three in China. Although an outsider right now, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai with a planned 5000 MW capacity could soon make its way to the top of the list.
According to the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), the nodal agency for implementing renewable energy projects in the country, a solar park is a concentrated zone of development of solar power generation projects. Developing a solar project, inside solar parks brings with it many benefits which include – no-hassle land acquisition for the development of solar power projects. Various infrastructure features like transmission system, water, road connectivity and communication network, etc. are also developed on priority and provided to the projects. The parks are also characterised by well developed proper infra-structure where the risk and gestation period of the projects is minimised.
Here’s a list* of the 7 largest solar parks in the world, all of which are believed to have a cumulative capacity greater than 500 megawatts (MW).
Bhadla Solar Park
Installed – 2,245 MW, Planned – 2,200 MW
The Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan, recently came in the news in January 2020, when Hero Future Energies (HFE) commissioned a 300 MW solar power project in the third section of the solar park. This project took the total installed capacity of the solar park beyond 2.2 GW (2,245 MW), making the park now fully operational at its planned capacity.
Pavagada Solar Park
Installed – 2050 MW, Planned – 2 GW
Before Bhadla Solar Park made the news in January 2020, the title for the largest solar park in the world was briefly held by the Pavagada Solar Park located in the Tumakuru district of Karnataka. In December 2019, Softbank-led SB Energy had announced the commissioning of its final 100 MW solar project in the park taking the overall installed capacity of the park to 2050 MW. 50 MW over the planned capacity of the park.
Golmud Desert Solar Park
Installed – ~1800 MW, Planned – Not Known (Expected 4-5 GW)
The Golmud Desert Solar Park, as the name suggests is located in the Golmud desert to the east of Golmud in the Qinghai Province of China. The solar park accommodates approximately 55 solar power plants with a cumulative capacity surpassing 1,800 MW. The park is also home to Huanghe Hydropower’s 200 MW solar project, which was the largest individual solar power plant in the world when it was first commissioned in 2011.
Delingha Solar Park
Installed – ~1000 MW, Planned – Not Known (Expected ~2 GW)
The Delingha Solar Park, located in the north of Haixi in the Qinghai Province of China houses a cluster of close to 40 solar power projects, which together have an operation capacity well over 1 GW. The solar park also consists of concentrated solar parks delivering close to 200 MW energy to the grid. The 810 MW Huanghe Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Project concentrating solar power (CSP) plant is already being constructed in phases in the park.
Jinchuan Solar Park
Installed – ~950 MW, Planned – Not Known
According to Philip Wolfe, Founder of Wiki-Solar, the Jinchuan Solar Park in China’s Gansu Province is home to solar projects just under 1 GW in cumulative generation capacity. The largest individual project in the park has a capacity well over 200 MW, which was co-developed by JinkoSolar.
Ananthapuram Ultra Mega Solar Park
Installed – ~500 MW (750 MW different phases of construction), Planned – 1500 MW
The NP Kunta Ultra Mega Solar Park, also known as Ananthapuram Ultra Mega Solar Park, is a solar park located in Nambulapulakunta Mandal in the Ananthapur district of Andhra Pradesh. The first phase of the park was commissioned in 2016 with a capacity of 250 MW. A further 750 MW was planned to have been commissioned by March 2018 in the second phase, however, work on that had come to a standstill after a political fight between the two dominant parties had emerged for a lion’s share in the contracts from three companies that are executing the work on the 750 MW solar park.
Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Park
Installed – 750 MW, Planned – 750 MW
The Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Park or RUMS is one of the relatively newest solar additions to India. Located in Madhya Pradesh, the site has a total installed cumulative capacity of 750 MW. However, unlike the other solar parks in the list, this site is home to only three solar projects, each of 250 MW solar generational capacity which were developed by Mahindra Susten, Acme Solar and Solenergi. The park has two off-takers in MPPMCL which sources 1233 MUs annually, and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which sources 345 MUs annually.
Special Mentions –
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
Installed – 413 MW (2450 MW in different phases of construction), Planned – 5 GW
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, as the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) which is implementing it describes it, is the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. It has a planned production capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030, with investments totaling AED 50 billion. The fourth phase of the solar park is the largest single-site solar IPP project in the world that will combine CSP and photovoltaic technology for 950 MW capacity. Recently, DEWA achieved a world record by receiving the lowest bid of USD 1.6953 cents per kWh for this phase through a partnership with the consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation as the Preferred Bidder to build and operate the 900 MW 5th phase.