The world’s biggest solar farm, with a capacity of 5GW, has been connected to the grid in Xinjiang Province in China, Reuters has reported.

The state-owned Power Construction Corp of China announced the commencement of operations on 3 June 2024.

The solar farm in a desert region near Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, spread across 200,000 acres of land.

The facility will produce 6.09 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually, sufficient to meet the energy needs of Papua New Guinea or Luxembourg for one year.

The solar farm surpasses the previous record holders for the largest operational solar facilities, also located in western China.

Among past record holders have been the Longyuan Power Group’s Ningxia Tenggeli desert solar project and China Lüfa Qinghai New Energy’s Golmud Wutumeiren solar complex, both with a capacity of 3GW.

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Xinjiang is known for its solar and wind resources and has been at the forefront of developing large-scale renewable energy projects.

These projects predominantly serve the high demand for electricity in China’s eastern regions.

In May 2024 in Jiangsu Province, the China National Nuclear Corporation began construction on the nation’s largest offshore solar farm at Haibin harbour in the city of Lianyungang.

The new offshore solar farm has a 2GW capacity and represents a $1.39bn investment.

It will replace 680,000 tonnes of standard coal and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.77 million tonnes each year. Spanning an approved sea area of 1,868 hectares, it is currently China’s largest layered sea-based solar farm.