Patterns in the desert

#solar #aerial #aircam #westfromabove #nevada

“Holy cow, you can see where water has been but isn’t.”

Leaving the mountains and flying south, fire and water once again become themes of the landscape. The hills to the southeast of The Dalles were alight as we passed through, fire crews battling on the ground, while a helicopter dropped water from the Columbia to slow the blaze.

South in the Nevada desert, the historical evidence of water was everywhere. Dry lakes, empty stream beds and huge outwash plains gouged by the flow of water nowhere to be seen.

Unsurprisingly, sunlight is plentiful, making the desert an ideal location for solar power. Like something from a Sci-fi movie, Crescent Dunes C.S.P. (Concentrated Solar Power) project is impossible to miss. Projected to go online by late 2014, the plant concentrates solar radiation to heat molten salt, hopefully providing 110 megawatts of on-demand, renewable electricity.

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