When U2 ventured out to the California desert in the late ’80s, they used stark empty spaces punctuated by the other-wordly Joshua tree as their thematic backdrop. Now it’s 2013 and a new generation of rockers are traipsing around the desert, but they’ve traded Joshua trees for the implements of big concentrating solar power in a kaleidoscopic new lyric video.

That’s the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station in The Fray’s just-released “Love Don’t Die” lead single for the Helios album that will come out in January. The song has absolutely nothing to do with solar power, but you knew that. It’s a nervous, hard-edged declaration that “no matter where we go, or even if we don’t, and even if they try, they’ll never take my body from your side – love don’t die.” Check it out:

The band isn’t the first to be charmed by the artistic possibilities of the groundbreaking power plant – back in June 2012 there was a slide show from the New York Times Magazine entitled “The Beauty of the Largest Solar Farm in the World.”

The 377-megawatt power plant, which uses giant mirrors to shine sun power on receivers atop towers, heating water to generate electricity, isn’t officially operational yet, but is close to going into service.

Late last month, Ivanpah’s developers – among them is Google – said it had “produced its first output of energy when the Unit 1 station was synced to the power grid for the first time.”

Ivanpah will be the world’s largest solar thermal plant once it begins full operations, sending power from two of its three units to Pacific Gas & Electric and from the other unit to Southern California Edison, under long-term power purchase agreements. When exactly full operations will commence remained unclear, with lead owner NRG saying only that “proof-of-concept testing will also be conducted at Unit 2 and 3 in the coming months.”

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