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Ambitious plans for 5 gigawatt solar plant in South Africa

November 07, 2010

Laying claim to “what will be the world’s largest solar power plant” is difficult these days with so many in development, but the Texas-based Fluor corporation is drawing up plans for a five gigawatt (GW) plant in South Africa that would certainly make it amongst the world’s largest.

Following a feasibility study, the company has been selected to draw up plans for a potential solar park to be built on the edge of the Kalahari Desert in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa – an area the South African government says is amongst the sunniest three percent of regions in the world.

Currently, the world’s largest operational solar power plant is the 80MW Sarnia Solar Project completed last month in Canada. No sooner had it commenced operation than a 1GW plant known as the Blythe Solar Power Project received approval to be built in California. The U.S. plant is expected to take six years to complete and won't generate as much power as the proposed 2GW plant planned for China, but the South African government hopes its Solar Park will be generating 1GW as early as 2012 and a total of 5GW by 2020.

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