This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
Multiply the output of the current world's largest solar photovoltaic power plant by 10 and it still wouldn't match the output of an ambitious solar project being proposed in India.
Late last month, six Indian state-run companies signed a memorandum of understanding to pool their resources to build a $4.4 billion, 4,000 megawatt solar power plant in Rajasthan, the largest state in India. Thank goodness, because this project will be massive.
To get an idea just how big this project is, imagine if Manhattan Island was completely covered with solar panels, plus about 15 percent of The Bronx. That would just about equal the 19,000 acres this solar farm requires.
And the amount of energy it will produce is equally as impressive. Right now the world's largest operational photovoltaic power plant produces about 250 megawatts. The additional 4,000 MW produced by the plant in India would be about the equivalent of four full-sized nuclear reactors and would triple the country's current solar capacity, according to Nature.
The project will be built in phases and will take an estimated 7-8 years to complete.
India is hoping to take advantage of falling solar prices in order to produce more of its own electricity. The country imports about three-fourths of its energy needs.
India, the fourth largest energy consumer in the world, will need to continue to invest in energy to meet demand that is only expected to continue to grow over the coming decades.