There are several sources of renewable energy as such biomass, hydroelectric power, solar power, geothermal power, wind power and other. The following are largest renewable energy project build so far around the world. They are providing clean and green energy substituting fossil based and helping in environmental conversation and climate change mitigation. The world needs such project to fulfill growing demand of energy.

 Biomass Based

1 

Drax , United Kingdom,  1320MW

 

Photo: Drax Bio mass power plant

            Drax is transforming itself into a predominantly biomass-fueled generator through burning sustainable biomass in place of coal. Drax only burns sustainable biomass. Their calculations show that the range of biomass materials that they have burnt over the last few years has a far lower carbon footprint than that of fossil fuel-fired power stations.They measure the full carbon life cycle of generating electricity from biomass, which means that they measure the carbon emissions at each step of the supply chain, including harvesting, processing and transportation. The average carbon dioxide saving, over the full life cycle, resulting from burning biomass in place of coal is above 80%.

            In July 2012, Drax confirmed that it plans to transform itself into a predominantly biomass – fueled generator through burning sustainable biomass in place of coal. Initially, Drax plans to convert three of its six generating units to run on sustainable biomass. The first unit was converted in the second quarter of 2013. From May 2014, a second ran as an enhanced co-firing unit, burning at least 85% biomass, until it was fully converted in the fourth quarter of 2014.The third unit is expected to be converted in 2015/16.They are also evaluating the option to convert a fourth unit.

– See more at: http://www.drax.com/biomass/what-is biomass/#sthash.zixXrcn0.dpuf

 

Hydroelectric Power Plant7

Three Georges Dam, China , 22,000 MW

Photo: Three Gorges Corporation

            China Yangtze Three Gorges Project (TGP), as one of the biggest hydropower-complex project in the world, ranks as the key project for improvement and development of Yangtze River. The dam is located in the areas of Xilingxia gorge, one of the three gorges of the river, which will control a drainage area of 1 million km 2 , with an average annual runoff of 451 billion m3. The open valley at the dam site, with hard and complete granite as the bedrock, has provided the favorable topographical and geological conditions for dam construction.

          Although the TGP Reservoir is not the reservoir with the biggest capacity in the world, its reserved flood control capacity can help cut flood peak by 27,000 ~ 33,000 m3/s, the biggest for a water conservancy project in the world.

         When the TGP is completed, the flood control standard of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze, especially the Jingjiang Section, will be largely upgraded from the present level of preventing under-10-year floods to that of preventing 100-year floods. So 15 million people and 1.5 million hectares of farmland in the Jianghan Plain are relieved from flood threats, and devastating plagues of massive death causedby big floods are avoided.

         The Three Gorges Hydropower Plant (TGHP) contains twenty-six turbine-generator units, each with installed capacity of 700MW, not including the six more 700MW units in the Right Bank Underground Powerhouse under construction. Its total installed capacity amounts to 18200MW, and its expected annual average power generation accounts up to 84.7 TWH, so the TGHP ranks the biggest one in the world with remarkable power generation benefit. At present, TGHP electricity is sent unceasingly to Central China, East China, Guangdong, and Chongqing with the maximum transmission range of 1000 Km.

See more at: http://www.ctgpc.com.cn/en/introduction/introduction_a.php

 

 

Geothermal PowerPlant

 3

The Geyers, United States of America , 1808 MW

 

Photo: The Geysers

            Geothermal power is energy derived from the heat of the earth’s core. “Geo” means “from the earth” and “thermal” means “heat.” This type of energy is clean and predictable, offering a reliable and renewable energy source.

            The Geysers, comprising 45 square miles along the Sonoma and Lake County border, is the largest complex of geothermal power plants in the world. Calpine, the largest geothermal power producer in the U.S., owns and operates 14 power plants at The Geysers with a net generating capacity of about 725 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 725,000 homes, or a city the size of San Francisco.

            The Geysers meets the typical power needs of Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties, as well a portion of the power needs of Marin and Napa counties. In fact, The Geysers satisfies nearly 60 percent of the average electricity demand in the North Coast region from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. The Geysers is one of the most reliable energy sources in California, delivering extremely high availability and on-line performance, and accounts for one-fifth of the green power produced in California.

See More at: http://www.geysers.com/geothermal.aspx

 

Solar Power Plant5

Solar Star I and II, 579 MW , United States of America

Solar Star I & II span over 3,200 acres across two counties. Mortenson built the foundations, trackers, civil site work and oversaw general site management. The civil component includes caisson installation and 85 miles of road construction. SunPower provided all system components using their Oasis Power Plant Technology and 1.7M solar modules. The projects generate enough electricity to power over 255,000 households.

            SunPower’s North American utility scale projects have been a key growth lever for the company over the past few years. The 579 MW Solar Star project that the company is constructing for MidAmerican Energy was a major driver of the company’s quarterly performance. The company said that the project’s construction was ahead of schedule, with about 309 MW of capacity already connected to the grid. SunPower now expects to complete the project by the middle of next year – about 6 months ahead of schedule.

See more:

  1. http://www.mortenson.com/solar/projects/solar-star-i-and-ii

2.http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2014/10/31/solar-star-project-japan-dg-demand-drive-sunpowers-q3/#4675677d3da9

Wind Power Plant

6

Gansu, China, 5160MW

 

Photo: Circle of Blue

 

           The Gansu Wind Farm Project (also called Jiuquan Wind Power Base) is a group of large wind farms under construction in western Gansu province in China. The Gansu Wind Farm Project is located in desert areas near the city of Jiuquan in two localities of Guazhou County and also near Yumen City, in the northwest province of Gansu, which has an abundance of wind resources.

The 8 GW of initial planned capacity of this wind farm is similar to that of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, which was the largest nuclear power plant in the world until its closure in 2012. However, a capacity factor of about 25% must be included for wind, and even at the final 20 GW capacity, this wind farm will generate less than Kashiwazaki-Kariwa at its peak.

See more at:

  1. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-wind-power-idUSTRE5771IP20090808
  1. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2012/03/jiuquan-gansu-province-drives-development-of-wind-farms-along-chinas-hexi-corridor.html

About Writer
            Bipin Karki is mechanical engineer, who cares about energy access, environment and climate change. He believes that innovative use of clean energy will help in improvement in rural livelihood, environmental and socio-economic values generations. He can be reached at [email protected]