With its capacity to power 160,000 average-sized American homes, the Topaz Solar Farm in southern California is one of the largest installations of its kind. This sea of 9 million solar panels is an ideal example of how sunny states like Arizona and Nevada can harness the sun’s power to reduce carbon emissions and create clean energy for residents across the country. Although there have been worries about the possibility that solar farms can damage local ecosystems and disturb endangered species, special considerations have been taken to build them in the most low-impact areas possible, so as not to cause damage to vulnerable animal populations. With solar being the most abundant energy source on the planet, arrays such as this one—placed in the sunniest regions on Earth—can be real game-changers for the evolution of clean power. Click through to read Katie Fehrenbacher’s special report about the Topaz Solar Farm, and see just how bright and sunny our future can be.
Images by Katie Fehrenbacher and SunPower