SOLAR FARMS & GRID CONNECTIVITY
Many industrialized nations are now utilizing utility scale solar energy installations in order to supplement and add additional capacity to their existing electrical grid infrastructure.Factors that are driving the funding and construction of modern day solar farms:
- Utility scale solar facilities enter in to power purchase agreements with local government utilities guaranteeing a minimum revenue stream thereby making these Public Private Partnerships not only economically feasible but profitable.
- Government incentives designed to stimulate investment in renewable alternative energy solutions such as the 30% solar investment tax credit.
- Greatly reduced capital expenditure costs combined with greater energy creation efficiencies with solar cells that cost approximately $76 per watt in the 1970’s dropping to less than $1 per watt today.
- More reliable and more efficient energy generation than wind farms.
The advent of these large utility scale solar facilities (minimum of 50 megawatts (MW) capacity) is a recent phenomenon and there are currently large photovoltaic plants in operation throughout the US today totaling 2,892 MW. More than 26,000 MW of utility-scale solar power projects are under development in the U.S., enough to power more than 4.3 million households.
Countries with the greatest commitment to solar power farm investment are China, ($40B in 2014), Japan ($35B), the United States, the UK, Germany and France. Canada has also made a significant commitment to the solar farm model, constructing large installations such as the Sarnia Photovoltaic Plant, which was the world’s largest in 2010. The Sarnia plant covers 950 acres and utilizes approximately 1.3 million thin film solar panels.
EarthStar has developed proprietary solar power technology solutions and systems that generate more clean power per panel and with a significantly better cost per watt profile when compared to its industry competitors.