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Home » Library » Land-Use Requirements for Solar Power Plants in the United States

Land-Use Requirements for Solar Power Plants in the United States

This report provides data and analysis of the land use associated with U.S. utility-scale ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) facilities. The report found total land-use requirements for solar power plants to have a wide range across technologies. Generation-weighted averages for total area requirements range from about 3 acres/GWh/yr for CSP towers and CPV installations to 5.5 acres/GWh/yr for small 2-axis flat panel PV power plants. Across all solar technologies, the total area generation-weighted average is 3.5 acres/GWh/yr with 40% of power plants within 3 and 4 acres/GWh/yr. For direct-area requirements the generation-weighted average is 2.9 acres/GWh/yr, with 49% of power plants within 2.5 and 3.5 acres/GWh/yr. On a capacity basis, the total-area capacity-weighted average is8.9 acres/MWac, with 22% of power plants within 8 and 10 acres/MWac. For direct land-use requirements, the capacity-weighted average is 7.3 acre/MWac, with 40% of power plants within 6 and 8 acres/MWac. Other published estimates of solar direct land use generally fall within these ranges.
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Last modified by Nate Lotze

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