First solar-generating plant in the world set up in 1913 in Egypt at Maadi by Frank Shuman, a US inventor from Philadelphia. Shuman used five 60-metre-long parabolic "troughs", mirror-lined heat absorbers aligned to track the sun's progress across the sky, to concentrate the rays onto five matte-black boilers, which then produced sufficient steam to pump almost 23,000 litres of water a minute. Shuman's plant successfully irrigated agricultural land alongside the Nile for two years.
In 1913 American engineer Frank Shuman constructed the world's first sun driven steam engine – for irrigation in Maadi, Egypt. If it hadn't been for the outbreak of WWI, maybe solar power would have been a major source of energy today.
The New York Times, Published: 2 July 1916
American Inventor Uses Egypt's Sun for Power - Appliance Concentrates the Heat Rays and Produces Steam