Can you see where your electricity is generated from your yard? If you’re one of our customers, the answer’s probably “yes.” It’s a great feeling to know that if you look up, you can see your solar panels converting your roof into a source of clean power. However, for a number of homeowners in the United States, the view’s not always as inspiring.
Sometimes we take electricity generation for granted. If you don’t see a generation facility every day, it’s easy to only focus on the result (turning on the lights, cranking up the AC, grabbing a cold snack from the fridge) than the process of actually generating the power to meet your daily energy demands. But, the electricity that keeps your home running comes from somewhere. Almost half of the electricity in the U.S. actually comes from coal.
That’s why I’m setting out to document how power generation impacts communities through a series of photographs. I’m starting with a series of coal-centered photographs, since we just launched our Story of Coal video. Today’s image is a photograph by Robert Strovers, a fine art photographer from Pennsylvania.
Strovers’ image masterfully captures emerald green grass and a brilliant blue sky separated by a belt of steam, a coal plant, and upon closer inspection, a small yellow home sitting just a stone’s throw from this generation facility. The photo presents the viewer with a strange dichotomy: a Norman Rockwell-esque home tucked behind trees with a lush green lawn, with low afternoon shadows cast across the yard filled with crisp fall leaves. This is juxtaposed against an industrial backdrop of a coal generation facility emitting plumes of steam into the air. It feels like two separate scenes cobbled together, but this is a real photo of a real place.
We want to hear from you. How does this picture make you feel? If you have an image you’d like to share, email us and we’ll consider it for our series.