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Solar Star: Inside the world’s biggest solar plant

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Covering a 1,295-hectare estate mostly of fallow farmland, the world’s largest solar plant sits in the Antelope Valley straddling two counties of California. The Solar Star project has been supplying its full 579MW of capacity to the grid since May this year and it will be announced as offi cially complete before the end of 2015. PV Tech Power explored the designs behind this mammoth installation near Rosamond, California, to investigate what key factors had to be considered when creating a solar plant that can supply electricity to more than a quarter of a million homes.

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For those in the utility solar business, 2015 has so far offered no shortage of landmarks. Since the start of the year, the record for the world’s largest PV power plant has been both equalled and beaten, with the completion in the US of the Desert Sunlight and Solar Star projects respectively. The industry has also notched up two important pricing milestones. In January 2015, news broke that a project in Dubai had attracted what was thought to be the lowest ever bid price for a solar project, of US$0.0585/kWh. That record proved short lived, however, when, in July, US firm First Solar revealed it had agreed to a price of US$0.0387/kWh for power from its 100MW Playa Solar 2 project in Nevada.

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