NASA images show stunning progress of China’s vast 850 MW Longyangxia Solar Park

U.S. space agency NASA has published two satellite images of the world’s largest solar park in China’s Qinghai province that reveal the startling scale of the 850 MW plant.

Contrasted to an earlier image taken in April 2013 when the plant was just beginning to take place, this latest image reveals a vast landscape transformed by more than four million solar panels.

The site now covers an area almost equivalent in size to Macau, a 30 square kilometer autonomous region of China, and dominates a plateau of sparsely populated land close to the edges of the Gobi Desert.

This month, the solar park officially became the largest in the world, surpassing the 648 MW Kamuthi Solar Power Project in Tamil Nadu, India. China is also currently constructing an even larger installation in the Ningxia region, which is set to be 2 GW once completed.

China’s rapid embrace of solar energy has quickly propelled the nation to first place globally in terms of cumulative capacity installed, ending 2016 with more than 77 GW of solar, according to official figures from the National Energy Administration (NEA).

Solar currently meets just 1% of China’s energy demand, but the government is aiming to draw 20% of its power from renewable sources by 2030.