PhotograPh by Jamey StillingS
When completed later this year, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating
System in California’s Mojave Desert will be the largest solar thermal
power plant in the world, capable of producing 392 megawatts of
electricity to power 140,000 homes. In contrast to traditional photovoltaic facilities, it generates electricity using 300,000 mirrors to focus
the sun’s rays onto central towers housing conventional steam turbines.
Critics decry its visual impact on a pristine desert landscape, as well as its
displacement of more than 120 threatened desert tortoises.