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Slide Show: The World's 10 Largest Renewable Energy Projects

From wind and wave to sun and trash, a look at how existing power plants are providing electricity generated from renewable sources on a massive scale
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Bonus: World's Largest Landfill Gas Recuperation Plant

Puente Hills in Whittier, Calif.

Producing power from the gas that seeps out of landfills is a better alternative than simply flaring it. (Though it's debatable whether or not landfill gas constitutes a renewable resource, because yields of combustible gas from landfills decline between 2 and 15 percent per year after a landfill is capped and no more garbage is being added, according to Jeff Pierce, vice president of power plant development company SCS energy).....[ More ]

10. World's Largest Hydroelectric Dam

China's Three Gorges Dam On December 18, 2007, the electricity production capacity of China's Three Gorges Dam reached 14.1 gigawatts, surpassing for the first time the 14-gigawatt generating capacity of the Itaipu Dam on the border of Brazil and Paraguay, making it the largest and most productive dam in the world.....[ More ]

9. World's Largest Wave Power Plant:

Aguçadoura Wave Farm near Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal

The world's first and only commercial wave power plant resembles a 500-foot- (150 meter-) long, 11 foot- (3.5 meter-) wide snake that floats, half-submerged, on the sea surface.....[ More ]

8. World's Largest Dry Biomass-Fired Power Plant

Oy Alholmens Kraft in Pietarsaari, Finland

Like most biomass-fired power plants, the Oy Alholmens Kraft power plant relies on locally sourced bark, branches and peat to fuel its enormous boiler—the largest of its kind in the world at 550 megawatts of heat.....[ More ]

7. World's Most Productive Geothermal Field

The Geysers in Sonoma and Lake Counties, Calif.

Despite having declined from a peak production of 2,000 megawatts in the mid-1980's to the present value of about 1,000 megawatts, The Geysers remains the most productive geothermal field in the world, providing nearly 60 percent of the electricity used in California's North Coast region, which stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border.....[ More ]

6. World's Largest Photovoltaic Power Plant

Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park in Olmedilla de Alarcón, Spain The Olmedilla Photovoltaic (PV) Park uses 162,000 flat solar photovoltaic panels to deliver 60 megawatts of electricity on a sunny day.....[ More ]

5. World's Largest Solar Thermal Plant

Solar Energy Generating Systems in Southern California

Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) has been the world record holder for largest solar thermal project since its completion in 1990.....[ More ]

4. World's Largest Tidal Power Turbine

SeaGen Turbine in Strangford Lough, Ireland

Like wind turbines, but powered by the flow of water instead of the flow of air, tidal power turbines transform tides or deep ocean currents into electricity.....[ More ]

3. World's Largest Tidal Power Barrage

Rance Tidal Barrage in Bretagne, France Many of the world's largest renewable projects have been around for quite some time: Completed in 1967 at a cost of approximately $134 million, the Rance tidal barrage (dam) is the world's first, and remains the world's largest, power plant that produces electricity from tides.....[ More ]

2. World's Biggest Offshore Wind Farm

Lynn and Inner Dowsing Wind Farm Near Skegness, Lincolnshire, England

Visible from the beach of Skegness, England, the 54 3.6-megawatt turbines of the Lynn and Inner Dowsing offshore wind farm collectively can produce up to 194 megawatts of electricity at peak.....[ More ]

1. World's Biggest On-Shore Wind Farm

Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Taylor and Nolan Counties, Tex.

About 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Dallas, 47,000 acres (19,000 hectares) of Texas cedar and scrub oak have been given over to the 421 wind turbines that comprise the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center.....[ More ]

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