February 19, 2012 - These photos of construction were taken in February as the massive photovoltaic project is constructed on what was once Colorado Desert creosote scrub, desert rock pavement, sand washes, and palo verde-ironwood trees. Apparently only 10% of the desert has been cleared so far.

^Desert Sunlight solar project cleared swath of desert with posts being installed to hold thin-film photovoltaic panels.

^Panorama across the Chuckwalla Valley, looking from a small hill, looking eastward.

^Detail of the post construction.

^This industrialization removed healthy desert vegetation, kit foxes, desert tortoises, and nesting habitat for numerous birds.

^View of the sprawling photovoltaic field as seen from near the CoxComb Mountains, looking westward.

^The solar field creates a lake effect that may attract waterbirds, shorebirds, and traveling aquatic insects flying over to accidentally land.

^The same area from a slightly different viewpoint before the project, the creosote desert below the mountains now scraped.

^Desert Sunlight solar field with the Coxcomb Mountains in the distance.

^Cleared desert and solar installation near Joshua Tree National Park.

^Solar field and Coxcomb Mountains.

^Lush desert of the Chuckwalla Valley.

^Aerial view from late 2011 of the desert ground clearing for the solar project. (Photo by Chris Clarke)


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