Intelligent Energy

A bird's eye view of one of the world's largest solar farms

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One of the world's largest solar photovoltaic projects is rising up in the desert Southwest. Check out these photos and a progress update of the 290-megawatt Agua Caliente solar power farm.

One of the world's largest solar panel farms, which has been under construction in Yuma county, Arizona since 2010, is now two-thirds complete, according to its developer First Solar and owners NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar.

Like any other massive utility-scale project, it can be difficult to appreciate the sheer size of the Agua Caliente solar farm. When it's completed sometime in 2014, the solar farm will have a capacity of 290 megawatts, enough to power about 100,000 average homes per year.

First Solar designed and is building the project using its thin-film photovoltaic modules. The project employs between 400 to 450 workers daily during the construction period.

Agua Caliente, which has been financed by a $967 million federal loan guarantee and investments from NRG and MidAmerican, is currently generating 200 MW of power to the electric grid.

What does 200 MW look like anyway? Check out the aerial shot below. The project is located on 2,400 acres.

Photos: First Solar

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Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure