Selection criteria

We can't include all solar projects that were ever announced - there are too many, and a lot of them might never happen.

This is how we decide:

What projects do we include in our database?


We want to be able to cover all utility-scale projects, which is now defined as 4MWac+, so our database includes projects of 3.5MWac (because capacities are often rounded to the nearest whole number) and over. We believe it is very comprehensive for projects over 10MW, but it may be incomplete for smaller projects in some markets.

We also include a few smaller projects, at our discretion, where these are noteworthy or appear on the site maps (see below).


We include all photovoltaic power plant, including concentrating photovoltaics (CPV). Thermal concentrated solar power (CSP) are also listed. A small number of projects of other renewable technologies (e.g. wind) might appear on the site maps (see right), but will not normally be included in reports.

Projects in development

Projects are included if they are operating, under construction or decommissioned. Projects at earlier stages of development are included at our discretion if they have achieved at least one of the following:

  • planning consent;
  • a power purchase or tariff agreement;
  • approval for a support program;
  • a grid connection offer;
  • financial close; or
  • appointment of EPC and/or O&M contractors.

If such projects become stalled or delayed for long period without going into construction. they will be excluded from reports and maps unless/until they again start to make active progress

What is the basis of our analysis?

Statistics, tables and rankings

... whether of worldwide data or by region or by company:

These analyses only include projects:

above a capacity threshold normally of 4MWac, unless specified otherwise in the accompanying data

which were delivering power at the reporting date; so

all projects still in development are excluded, or analysed separately.

What projects appear on maps?

We show all projects whose actual or approximate location is known. This covers the vast majority of the eligible projects on our database, though a small percentage do not appear (but are included in the analysis discussed on the left).

Where projects also appear in the site maps, their location may be known from one of the following sources:

  • They appear on satellite images; or
  • We have seen a site plan or planning map; or
  • Photographs of the plant show its location.

In other cases the locations of the placemarks on the primary maps are estimated from information received, and they are annotated: 'placemark location estimated'.

On these site maps we sometimes show for clarity and consistency nearby solar projects, which appear on satellite images, even if they would not otherwise be eligible (for example if they are too small or of another technology).

Project status

The maps are color coded to differentiate between projects which are operating and those under construction or at earlier stages of development.

Keys to this color-coding are given at the bottom of each map.

World map - press to go direct
Site map - press to go direct