Another giant solar farm has been constructed on desert lands in California, stealing the title of the largest solar plant in the world. The farm, which is called Topaz, recently went online after its final 40-megawatt phase was completed, making it the first 500-plus megawatt solar plant to be up and running in the US.
Located in San Luis Obispo County on California’s Carrizo Plain, Topaz consists of a whopping nine million solar panels sprawling across 9.5 square miles of land. This sets it apart from the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in California’s Mojave Desert, which creates energy by directing sunlight towards a central boiler using thousands of mirrors. While it generates a lot of green energy, the Ivanpah farm has received a lot of criticism because the intense sunlight has been scorching wildlife, in particular birds. Topaz, however, does not use mirrors but photovoltaic solar panels instead.