Topaz Solar Farm

3480 CLUI photo

Topaz is the larger of two major solar power plants in the remote Carrizo Plain of California. Construction started in 2011 by First Solar, and by 2014 it was producing 360 megawatts. It is expected to be complete by the end of 2014, with over 9 million photovoltaic panels, producing 550 megawatts, likely making it the largest solar power plant in the world, for a time. Part of the plant was built on the site of the Carrizo Solar Plant, built by the oil company ARCO. ARCO’s plant operated from around 1985 to 1994, when it was disassembled. Though it had just 100,000 panels, and produced only 5.2 megawatts, it was the largest photovoltaic plant in the world, during that time, by far.

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