Europe’s largest solar park: Squeezing out maximum energy from the minimum land space

It seems that the Cestas solar park’s design has been an exercise in squeezing as much energy as possible out of the smallest possible space, even if it requires using more modules orientated in a less efficient structure. What is striking when travelling through the plant is the realisation that all the panels are fitted tightly together in an East-West positioning. Typically a plant in the Northern Hemisphere will have panels facing south in the classic orientation to optimise the amount of irradiation received by each cell and module. This method allows for a very high density of panels per hectare, so the plant is using just 0.8 hectares for 1MW compared to the standard south orientated plant, which generally needs 2 hectares per MW. This also spreads the load of energy fed to the grid more evenly throughout the day.

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