Super-Sized PV Installations
Photovoltaic facilities in North Carolina and Mexico covers hundreds of acres
Residential photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. systems often have a capacity of less than 10,000 watts, or 10 kW — which is usually enough to cover the needs of a single family. Commercial PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. installations, on the other hand, are big and getting much bigger.
At a data center in Maiden, N.C., Apple says it has finished a 20-megawatt array that covers 100 acres of land and produces 42 million kWh of energy per year. The company is adding a second 20 MW array that's expected to be operating by late this year plus a 10 MW fuel cellElectrochemical device in which electricity is generated by chemically reacting hydrogen with oxygen; electricity, water vapor, and heat are the only products. Unlike a battery, which stores a limited fuel supply used to create electricity, a fuel cell draws on an ongoing supply of fuel to produce electricity continuously..
Apple says the PV system is the largest "end user owned" array in the country. In all, the company's renewable energy production in Maiden will produce 167 million kWh of electricity a year, enough to power 17,600 homes.
In Mexico, an even bigger installation
In La Paz, Baja California Sur, a 30 MW solar project is expected to be finished by August, according to an article in Power Engineering International.
It is Mexico's first utility-scale solar project to be built under an agreement between a private company and the country's federal power company, the publication said.
The 132,000 PV modules will be able to produce 82 gWh of electricity per year and will cover about 240 acres (100 hectares) of land. It will be the biggest solar electric facility in Latin America.
Power Engineering International said Mexico's total PV capacity is currently about 13 MW.
May 30, 2013 12:31 PM ET
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May 30, 2013 8:32 PM ET