From the window of an airplane high above Nevada, the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Facility is a bright flash on the landscape. You can really only appreciate its enormity from the ground: 1,670 acres of desert blanketed with 10,347 billboard-sized mirrors that generate enough electricity to power 75,000 homes.
Reuben Wu first saw the sprawling solar farm a few years ago flying from Chicago to San Francisco. "I was startled by how bright it was," he says. "It looked like a fake sun."
He finally visited the place in March. He worked at dusk and dawn, when the light is best and the mirrors make their most dramatic movements to align with the sun. Despite their size, they move almost silently amid the sound of the wind blowing through the structures.