Photographer captures eerie beauty of Nevada solar power plant

Updated 11th November 2016
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Photographer captures eerie beauty of Nevada solar power plant
Written by Matthew Knight, CNN
Nevada is no stranger to peculiar sightings.
A long-time mecca for UFO hunters and home to the infamous Area 51, the midwestern state has been a focal point for otherworldly sightings -- if you believe in that sort of thing.
One photographer, though, has trained his lens on a different glinting saucer-shape on the ground.
Located a few miles northwest of Tonopah, The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project covers 1,600 acres of Nevada desert.
With concentric circles of heliostats surrounding a central concrete tower, the concentrated solar power plant can generate an estimated 500,000 MWh per year.
The swirling geometry and eerie light lend the plant an artistic quality, Reuben Wu believes.
"I kind of equate these places as akin to land-art installations like "Roden Crater" by James Turrell or "City" by Michael Heizer or "Spiral Jetty" by Robert Smithson," Wu told CNN.
"I really appreciate seeing the beauty of the engineering and that's the thing that draws me to these places."
Wu, who comes from a design and engineering background, is best known for being a member of the four-piece British electro-band Ladytron.
His interest in photography was inspired, in part, by road trips with the band whilst touring the US.
"Because of the schedule we had, we pretty much had no time to explore. I only really saw a glimpse even though we drove across America quite a few times. So, one of the things I always really wanted to do was to go back and do it properly."
The environmental thread to his photos extends to glaciers -- his first dedicated photography trip was to the Svalbard Islands, 600 miles south of the North Pole and other subjects include have wind turbines -- notably an array off the coast of Block Island on the US's east coast.
"Renewable energy sources are really exciting ... it's constantly changing right now," he says.