What A Really Gigantic Solar Power Plant Looks Like

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Solar Field, Mojave Desert [Credit: ©2012 Jamey Stillings, courtesy of the Forward Thinking Museum]

Solar Field, Mojave Desert [Credit: ©2012 Jamey Stillings, courtesy of the Forward Thinking Museum]

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Viewed from hundreds of feet, individual elements of Solar Field One, part of the Ivanpah power plant in the Mojave Desert take on a hypnotizing, scale-like appearance.

The Californian solar plant and its thousands of heliostats are captured here by photographer Jamey Stillings as part of his Changing Perspectives project.

It's all too easy to appreciate the benefits of solar energy without giving too much thought to the impact of such installations. As even large carmakers like Volkswagen are adopting solar, such as the huge array at its Chattanooga plant, it becomes even more fascinating to study.

Sponsored by the non-profit Blue Earth Alliance and displayed by the Forward Thinking Museum, Stillings' work aims to foster a clearer understanding of large-scale renewable energy projects--and provide a constructive, pro-active voice for responsible energy development.

Forward Thinking Museum - Changing Perspectives Exhibit

Beautiful monochrome photography details the site's construction, from the first groundwork, to installation of each of the heliostats--pairs of mirrors on pylons, continually moving with the sun to reflect its energy into a central collector.

Changing Perspectives on Renewable Energy Development follows on from Stillings' previous project, The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar.

Aerial and ground-level photography provides a unique insight into construction of such a large scale project--one which will eventually produce 392 megawatts of electricity, enough for 140,000 American homes.

The plant is due to be completed this year, ready to provide power for electric car owners, homes and businesses alike. But as Stillings puts it, "long-term photographic studies have contemporary value and will provide historical perspective".

The energy is always easy to appreciate. The artistic value, perhaps even more so.

You can read more about the solar project and others, on Stillings' own website.

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