Skip to comments.The $2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project
Posted on 02/13/2014 10:48:49 PM PST by grundle
At California's Ivanpah Plant, Mirrors Produce Heat and ElectricityAnd Kill Wildlife
A giant solar-power project officially opening this week in the California desert is the first of its kind, and may be among the last, in part because of growing evidence that the technology it uses is killing birds.
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is scheduled to speak Thursday at an opening ceremony for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station, which received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.
The $2.2 billion solar farm, which spans over five square miles of federal land southwest of Las Vegas, includes three towers as tall as 40-story buildings. Nearly 350,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect sunlight onto boilers atop the towers, creating steam that drives power generators.
The owners of the project NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy Inc., the company that developed the "tower power" solar technologycall the plant a major feat of engineering that can light up about 140,000 homes a year.
the BrightSource system appears to be scorching birds that fly through the intense heat surrounding the towers, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The company, which is based in Oakland, Calif., reported finding dozens of dead birds at the Ivanpah plant over the past several months
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Ivanpah fried chicken.... we do it right.... the only fried chicken.... from sunlight...
Well, upon seeing such things, I am always moved to wonder whether there could be some kind of bird repellent or bird shield.
And actually this doesn’t look like all that bad an idea for a solar project. Ground mirrors, tower boiler. It would work well anywhere on land there is plenteous sun. Some space age scarecrow is needed, perhaps. Seems a shame that such a problem has to completely stymie the project.
Calfifornia where liberals panic about heating the atmosphere ... and so, to make electricity for their many electrical/electronic appliances, they *super*-heat the atmosphere.
does it produce power at night? If not, then it’s billions of wasted dollars
I wonder how much tax money went into this?
Vegas will be lit up well, in the day time.
Americans have become pretty stupid.
The primary limiting factor in bird population is and will always continue to be the food supply. There will always be more birds hatched than the food supply can support.
In fact, there will always be more birds hatched that figure out how to not run into windmills or get frickaseed by mirrors than there is enough food for. Additional survival hazards are just changing some of the birds who would have starved into birds who live because a better forager wasn’t clever enough to figure out a hazard.
Its an epic non problem.
Yes. you are right.
And how many birds anyhow? “Dozens over several months”.
That’s certainly less than one a day. Maybe as few as one a week.
All they could get. Wonder how many of the big cheeses were obama bundlers? All or most?
Yeppers, pretty much all
An OVER 30 year old idea. Look up Solar one—it looked a lot like this.
$1.6 BILLION federal loan guarantee
Not including all of the subsidies, tax breaks and green funds from this government.
Looks like a multimillion dollar drive-in movie.
I sure hope that Pelosi flies over it to inspect it.
Now that is one bird I’d like to see fried. Nasty old vulture.
Back in the Carter years a group of tinkerers came up with a parabolic mirror smaller than the old satellite dishes that would power a small turbine generator that would power a single dwelling. The hot spot was small enough that it was little danger to critters. However the government quickly declared it to be a pressure vessel with the licensing and regulations and inspections that go along with that and it became to expensive to build and operate for a single household. It was featured in Popular Science or Mechanics I think.
I lived though this nonsense as a young starry-eyed engineering student in the late-70s, when Jimmy Carter had proclaimed that “energy is the moral equivalent of War.” I had figured it out by the time I graduated in the early 80s. I lived through a period of uneconomic alternative energy schemes subsidized by the government once, and have not at all enjoyed getting to see it come to pass once again in my lifetime. Especially since I’m more aware of the graft aspect on this go around.
This thing is a boondoggle.
The taxpayers are going to pick up the whole tab for this, the pay-offs must have been epic.
It is a $1.6 billion loan guarantee to light up 144,000 homes. If it succeeds, the loan will be repaid and the guarantee cancelled. Anybody out there that can calculate the cost benefit analysis on this?
It doesn’t matter. The government/taxpayers should not be on the hook for it at all. Let Google/BrightSource fund it and take the risk of their own endeavors.