Jamey Stillings: The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar

Terminal 3

Sep 28, 2017 - Jan 11, 2018

Jamey Stillings: The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar

Located in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California is one of the world’s largest solar thermal power stations, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (Ivanpah). The Ivanpah system consists of three solar thermal power plants spread across fourteen square kilometers of desert. Completed in late-2013, the station uses 347,000 mirrors to reflect sunlight into boilers, producing steam that drives the turbines. The plant generates more than 390 megawatts of energy at peak production—enough to power about 140,000 homes.

In his series, The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar, Jamey Stillings documents the construction of the massive power facility over the course of nearly four years. Beginning in October 2010, Stillings photographed the bare landscape upon which the Ivanpah project would soon break ground. Returning to the site approximately every three months, Stillings studied the project’s development from a chartered helicopter, making abstracted photographs that capture the vast scale of the site as it transforms the desert landscape. Flying only during the long-shadow hours of first and last light, the artist produced striking monochromatic images that capture the importance of the project unfolding below. Creating images that track the evolution of the Ivanpah project while simultaneously highlighting the larger need to move towards renewable energy production, Stillings’ work offers important exposure at a time when the United States is still in the early stages of adopting large-scale sustainable energy projects.

Jamey Stillings is a New Mexico-based artist and photographer. He earned a BA in art from Willamette University and an MFA in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. His work has been featured in numerous publications including TIME, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, and Newsweek Japan. Stillings has exhibited internationally at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona; the Mt. Rokko International Photo Festival in Kobe, Japan; and the Lianzhou International Photo Festival in Lianzhou, China. His work is held in the permanent collections of the United States Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, among others. Stillings’ monograph, The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar, was published by Steidl in 2015.

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