See these dazzling photo voltaic farms from a chicken’s-eye view

Solar panels have lengthy been criticized for being an eyesore. But what in case you may see them from one other angle? Say, 10,000 ft excessive?

Tom Hegen has develop into the grasp of aerial pictures, turning salt ponds, coal mines, and melting glaciers into geometric landscapes. Much of his work is targeted on visualizing the devastating affect of local weather change on Earth, however the German photographer’s newest collection takes a extra optimistic outlook. The Solar Power Series depicts photo voltaic farms in all their glory—portray a fascinating portrait of what the world would appear like whether it is powered by renewable power.

[Photo: Tom Hegen]

Solar Power Series options 5 photo voltaic vegetation throughout the U.S., France, and Spain. “I was looking for plants that are the first of their kind in terms of the technique used, and other experimental projects that have a strong characteristic in response to the landscape,” he says. The first photo voltaic plant he ever photographed for the collection was in Southern France, the place he captured a surprising subject of photo voltaic panels constructed on high of a rolling hill. Completed in 2011, the so-called Les Mées photo voltaic farm counts virtually 80,000 photo voltaic panels unfold throughout 89 acres. “The panels here look like endless waves that are rolling in the landscape,” he says.

[Photo: Tom Hegen]

Les Mées is the one conventional photo voltaic plant portrayed within the collection. For the others, Hegen targeted on so-called photo voltaic thermal energy vegetation, the place hundreds of mirrors, referred to as heliostats, assist replicate and focus the solar on a central tower. In most instances, the solar heats liquid salts contained in the tower, which then makes use of it to boil water and drive generators that generate electrical energy. In California’s Mojave Desert, for instance, the Ivanpah solar energy facility generates sufficient electrical energy to energy 140,000 houses. With 173,500 heliostats, it’s the largest photo voltaic thermal facility on this planet, reducing 400,000 tons of CO2 emissions per yr.

[Photo: Tom Hegen]

When captured from a helicopter, heliostats tackle a graphic high quality akin to an alien settlement. “Seeing the plants from the air is extremely captivating,” says Hegen. “Especially the early morning light makes a nice contrast and reflection in the mirrors that somehow have something human in them, like a Mecca of mirrors [or] a concert crowd.”

In 2020, renewable power generated about 21% of all electrical energy generated within the U.S. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that quantity will enhance to 44% by 2050, primarily as a result of wind and solar energy. This development may have an inevitable affect on the panorama. “This project is a documentation of what the future could look like if most of the energy we use is generated by the power of the sun,” Hegen says. “The work should also create awareness of alternative energy sources.”

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