A federal court in Washington, D.C. has struck down the Dakota Access Pipeline, following years of campaigning by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
The world’s 7 most beautiful solar farms
A glimpse of the most beautiful solar farms in the world, architectural and engineering masterpieces that are also good for the environment.
Solar farms are architectural and engineering masterpieces that aren’t only functional but can also be beautiful. They can thus become tourist attractions, creating jobs and boosting the clean energy economy, as well as satellite activities. Here are some of the boldest and most beautiful projects that combine the drive towards green energy with respect for the environment.
Disney solar farm in Florida
When Disney decides to build a solar farm, it’ll do it its own way. Currently under construction, the solar farm features the iconic face of Disney’s most famous character: Mickey Mouse. The 5-MW solar farm will be home to 48,000 panels and will power Walt Disney World and Reedy Creek Improvement District in the US state of Florida.
Chattanooga Airport solar farm in Tennessee
Located on the southwest corner of Chattanooga airport in the US state of Tennessee, this 2.1-MW solar farm was built in an area that was unusable for aviation purposes. The solar complex is composed of two solar farms: one consisting in 3,948 solar panels that generate 244W per panel, another with 3,542 panels, generating 310W per panel. Together, the two farms produce 85 per cent of the airport’s energy need. The Airport Authority aims to reach 3MW of installed capacity in order to make the airport energy sufficient and carbon neutral.
Planta Solar in Spain
Planta Solar is composed of two concentration solar farms: Planta Solar 10 and Planta Solar 20. Located in Sanlúcar la Mayor, Spain, the plant was the world’s most powerful solar power tower until the construction of the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in California in 2014. Planta Solar 20 is larger than its counterpart and produces 48MW per year, enough to power 10,000 households.
Topaz solar farm in California
From above, Topaz solar farm reminds us of the retro videogame graphics of Tetris. Covering part of Carrizo Plain in southern California, United States, the Topaz solar farm has 9 million cadmium telluride solar modules spread out over 5.6 square kilometres, making it one of the largest photovoltaic power plants in the world. It became operational in 2014 and with its 550MW provide electricity to 180,000 households. According to NASA calculations, this solar farm avoids emissions of 407,000 tonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere, the equivalent of taking 77,000 cars off the road.
Crescent Dunes solar farm in Nevada
Crescent Dunes is a 110-MW solar concentration farm. Completed at the end of 2014, it is located in the desert just outside Las Vegas, in the US state of Nevada. Its construction sparked controversy because the initial test caused significant damage to local wildlife. Researchers managed to solve the problem and the solar farm returned to be appreciated for its contribution in terms of clean energy and architecture.
Heart of New Caledonia
It hasn’t been built yet but it’ll certainly be the world’s most beautiful solar farm. Inspired by the Heart of Voh, a nearby naturally heart-shaped area home to mangroves. The so-called Earth of New Caledonia will be built on Grand Terre island, which is New Caledonia’s largest, located in south-western Pacific Ocean. Once completed, its 7,888 panels will provide clean energy to 750 households, avoiding 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 25 years.
Kagoshima Nanatsujima in Japan
Kyocera, southern Japan, is home to the country’s largest solar farm. It’s a 70-MW farm that powers 22,000 households. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster this 280 million dollar project represents Japan’s efforts to invest in clean and renewable energy. The Kagoshima Nanatsujima solar farm isn’t particularly futuristic or original, but its story is. Indeed, it’s one of the few solar farms open to the public, offering guided visits and scientific exhibitions. It also boasts an incredible view of Kagoshima Bay and Sakurajima volcano. An original way to raise people’s awareness on clean energy and its advantages.
The Scottish island of Eigg is self-sufficient for its energy needs, relying almost entirely on renewable sources, especially thanks to a coordinated community effort.
President Magufuli in unmovable in going ahead with the Stiegler’s Gorge dam despite conservationists’ warnings of the damage it will cause the Selous Game Reserve’s ecosystem and wildlife.
A large dam along the Luangwa River in Zambia would have posed a serious risk to local people and wildlife, leading hundreds of thousands to oppose it. A call to which the government responded by halting plans to build it.
The first one megawatt solar power plant in the Chernobyl exclusion zone has become operational. This is the first step in a renewable energy development project promoted by the Ukrainian government in the area.
Gas explosions are frequent in Nigeria, where safety standards are poor. In the latest incident, a gas tanker blast killed 35 people in Nasarawa state.
The largest tidal power plant in the world will be built in the Larantuka Straits. It will serve 100,000 people and help overcome some of the challenges of energy provision in Indonesia.
Robben Island’s solar energy micro-grid project will produce almost one million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, significantly reducing the cost and impact of buying diesel.
The Balikpapan oil spill off the coast or Borneo in Indonesia covers 120 square kilometres. It has caused the death of 5 people, health and economic problems for local communities, as well as threatening wildlife and local ecosystems.