“PS10 Solar Power Plant, Seville, Spain, 2013”
The tower at the middle of this mirror display stands like a Tolkienesque oracle, but it’s located in rural Spain, not Mordor. This is another of Burtynsky’s good-news stories. An array of 624 heliostats, spread over 170 acres, pivots with the sun and directs reflected solar radiation at the tower, which reaches temperatures of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It heats a circuit of water pipes, which in turn drive a series of turbines that create enough electricity to power 6,000 homes. The project is such a success that the government is building more towers to supply all 700,000 of Seville’s residents.