The construction of a huge new solar power plant has begun in the Nevada desert. The 250-megawatt Copper Mountain 3 solar plant is set to become the largest polycrystalline solar plant in the world, and is the third and final stage of the massive Copper Mountain Solar complex.
The new Copper Mountain 3 solar plant, which will be finished in 2015, will be able to generate enough power to supply around 80,000 homes. President Obama visited the site of the Copper Mountain 1 facility in 2012 (pictured). He spoke about how the area where the 3-stage project is located was hit hard by the recession, and that the project will bring a much needed boost to the local Boulder City economy, including jobs. The project will generate 300 construction jobs. In addition, the city is renting the land to solar developers, which will bring in millions of dollars in city revenue.
Although there is a great deal of potential for the growth of small-scale rooftop solar systems in the United States, there is also potential for big solar plants such as this in sunny, desert areas. The Copper Mountain solar project is situated on 1,400 acres of desert.
Solar power continues to go from strength to strength in many countries, including in the United States. To give some idea of the exponential momentum solar power has, as we reported earlier, there is now a rooftop solar system installed every 4 minutes in the U.S., and two-thirds of the world’s solar panels were installed in just the past 2.5 years.