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) and other solar thermal applications are not shown except where these might appear on the site maps (see below).
Projects in development
Except for those maps which only show commissioned installations, plants are included if they are operating, under construction, decommissioned or planned, in which case they may be included at our discretion if the project has achieved at least one of the following:
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 is known from one of the following sources:
They appear on satellite images; or
We have obtained a site plan or planning application; or
Photographs of the plant make its location apparent.
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).
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.