Photovoltaic Power Station

A photovoltaic power station, also known as a solar park, is a large-scale photovoltaic system designed for the supply of merchant power into the electricity grid. They are differentiated from most building-mounted and other decentralised solar power applications because they supply power at the utility level, rather than to a local user or users. They are sometimes also referred to as solar farms or solar ranches, especially when sited in agricultural areas.

The power conversion source is via photovoltaic modules that convert light directly to electricity. This differs from the other large-scale solar generation technology, concentrated solar power.

Photovoltaic power stations are typically rated in terms of the DC peak capacity of the solar arrays, in mega watt-peak (MWp), or of the nominal maximum AC output in megawatts (MW) or mega volt-amperes (MVA). Most solar parks are developed at a scale of at least 1 MWp. The largest operating photovoltaic power stations have capacities of hundreds of MWp; projects up to 1 GWp are planned. The cumulative worldwide capacity of plants of 10 MW and over as at March 2013 was reported to be 12 GW.

Most of the existing large-scale photovoltaic power stations are owned and operated by independent power producers, but the involvement of community- and utility-owned projects is increasing. To date, almost all have been supported at least in part by regulatory incentives such as feed-in tariffs or tax credits, but capital costs have fallen significantly in the last decade and are expected to progressively reach grid parity, when external incentives may no longer be required.

Read more about Photovoltaic Power Station:  History, Siting and Land Use, Technology, The Business of Developing Solar Parks, Economics and Finance, Geography, See Also

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