Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for environmental initiatives, gives a tour at the company’s solar field in Yerington, NV. Photo: David Calvert/WIRED
On a stunning cloudless day in the Nevada desert, Lisa Jackson stands with her back to an array of advanced solar cells, peering across a low chain link fence at NV Energy’s Fort Churchill Power Generating plant just a few hundred yards away. The 1960s vintage facility has two giant boilers rising from the scrub brush, belching steam and god knows what else. It couldn’t be more different than the futuristic tract where Jackson is standing, with its gleaming rows of curved mirrors and palm-size silicon wafers silently drawing energy from the blinding sun. It’s like a contrast between a phone booth and an iPhone.