Sustainable Energy

America’s titans of solar power

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According to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar power has become "more affordable, accessible and prevalent in the United States than ever before."

Here, Sustainable Energy takes a look at some of the most striking solar facilities in the U.S. and the impact they have had on the country.

Nevada Solar One

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This 64 megawatt facility is spread across 400 acres in Boulder City, Nevada, and provides power to over 14,000 homes every year, according to renewable energy company ACCIONA.

Antelope Valley Solar Ranch

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Located in Lancaster, California, the Department of Energy (DOE) has said that over 30,000 metric tons of American steel were used in the construction of the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch, and that it is home to 3.7 million solar modules.

With a capacity of 242MW, the facility prevents the emission of 279,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, according to the DOE.

Agua Caliente

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The 290 MW Agua Caliente facility, in Arizona, is one of the planet's biggest solar photovoltaic plants, according to NRG Energy.

Completed in 2014, Agua Caliente is located on a 2,400 acre site and is set to offset roughly 5.5 million metric tons of CO2 over 25 years.

Desert Sunlight Solar Farm

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With a capacity of 550 MW the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm produces energy to power around 160,000 average California homes, according to developer First Solar.

The facility helps to displace 300,000 metric tons of CO2 every year, First Solar says, "the equivalent of taking about 60,000 cars off the road."

Crescent Dunes Solar Array

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The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Facility is located in Nevada, and can produce enough electricity to power 75,000 homes in Nevada during peak demand, according to SolarReserve.

The project began commercial operations towards the end of 2015.

Solar Electric Generating Systems

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Located at Kramer Junction and Harper Lake in California, the Solar Electric Generating Systems (SEGS) facility is made up of seven solar facilities, and uses over 900,000 mirrors to catch and concentrate the sun.

According to NextEra Energy Resources – the facilities are operated by a subsidiary – SEGS can provide power to over 230,000 homes during peak production.

Topaz Solar Farms

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This 550 MW California facility is able to power 160,000 homes, according to developer First Solar.

Owners BHE Solar say that it has more than eight million solar modules and displaces roughly 407,000 metric tons of CO2 every year, which equates to taking 77,000 cars off the road annually.