July 23, 2013

Land use and solar power

Here is a list of a few solar "farms", i.e., fields of photovoltaic panels, in Ontario

Amherstburg: 10 MW on 196 acres (79 ha)
Belmont: 20 MW on 448 acres (181 ha)
St Clair: Moore Solar Farm: 20 MW on 297 acres (120 ha)
St Clair: Sombra Solar Farm: 20 MW on 347 acres (140 ha)
Walpole: 20 MW on 344 acres (139 ha)

The average is 18.1 acres (7.3 ha) per MW of installed capacity.

Granting a generous average capacity factor of 15%, that comes to 121 acres (49 ha) per MW of average output.

The average per-capita electricity load is about 1.9 kW in Canada, which comes to almost a quarter-acre of solar panels per person.

But the sun doesn't shine brightly all the time, and not at all at night. So, even with more favorable numbers, all of that acreage paved over with solar panels is sacrificed in addition to continuing reliance on other sources.

environment, environmentalism