Utilitv Scale Solar PV Plant
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The phrase “utility-scale solar” is heard so frequently in discussions about renewable energy that it comes as a bit of a shock when one realizes that there is no commonly accepted definition as to what size constitutes “utility-scale."
If you don’t believe it, a quick Google search reveals a staggeringly wide range of definitions, from greater than 25 kilowatts to greater than 50 megawatts, a difference of several orders of magnitude.
If it’s difficult to agree on the size of a utility-scale solar facility, perhaps it’s easier to agree on the shape. A utility-scale solar facility is one which generates solar power and feeds it into the grid, supplying a utility with energy. Virtually every utility-scale solar facility has a power purchase Agreement (PPA) with a utility, guaranteeing a market for its energy for a fixed term of time. (For more, check out the GTM article “Anatomy of a Utility-Scale PPA.”)