Global Utility-Scale Solar Could Reach 100GW By Year’s End

Utility scale solar power

Cumulative utility-scale capacity reached 75GW by the end of June and there’s a possibility the 100GW mark could be attained by the end of this year.

A report from Wiki-Solar states figures at the end of June indicate 2016 will be the 6th consecutive record year for utility-scale solar. 10GW of new solar plants had been commissioned at that point around the world.

The report says Asia is continuing to power ahead and now accounts for almost 50 per cent of global capacity; largely due to efforts in China and India.

From 75GW to 100GW of utility-scale solar power by the end of this year will be a massive jump; but one that’s not impossible.

“It might look like a tall order to add a further 25GW to reach 100 by year-end”, said Wiki-Solar’s Philip Wolfe; “but I think we still have a fighting chance.”

Mr. Wolfe’s views are based on the premise that Wiki-Solar’s figures are conservative as not all sources have yet published data. Added to this is the tendency for contractors and developers to work towards completing projects before the end of a year – the second half often delivers more than the first.

Mr. Wolfe says there is a substantial pipeline of US projects with a target of completion by the end of 2016.

Wiki-Solar’s database provides details on more than 5,500 utility-scale projects around the world (both operational and under development); including Australia. The company tracks all PV power plants, including concentrating photovoltaics (CPV). Wiki-Solar defines ‘utility-scale’ projects as those with 4MW capacity (AC) or more; so perhaps larger than what we would consider as utility-scale in Australia.

Cumulative utility scale solar power capacity

Australia’s largest operating large-scale solar PV farm is the 102 megawatt (MW) Nyngan facility in New South Wales, which officially opened last year.

Other large Australian projects currently at various stages include the solar power element of Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park; which will feature up to 1.6 million solar panels.  A much larger facility is one slated for Bulli Creek, Queensland. When complete, the solar farm will have a 2,000MW capacity.