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World's largest solar farm in Mojave Desert frying birds which flies over

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/18/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'Thermal flux' around towers can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit

Solar energy has long been touted as the most environmentally friendly form of energy. Solar energy is generated by the sun, which is not owned by any concern - yet - and leaves no demonstrable impact to the surroundings where solar power is gathered. There is an exception to every rule - as scientists have discovered that birds flying over the massive Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert are being literally cooked alive as they fly over it.

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, the cost of building and operating a new solar thermal power plant over its lifetime is greater than generating natural gas, coal or nuclear power.

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, the cost of building and operating a new solar thermal power plant over its lifetime is greater than generating natural gas, coal or nuclear power.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
2/18/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Ivanpah, solar energy, Mojave Desert, environmental impact


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Environmentalists say there is mounting evidence that has revealed birds flying through the extremely hot 'thermal flux' surrounding the towers are being scorched.

Heat emanating from the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world

Heat emanating from the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world's largest solar farm of its kind, has allegedly killed and injured dozens of birds and other wildlife in the Mojave Desert.


The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened last week. Environmental groups say that the nearly 350,000 gigantic mirrors are generating 1,000 degree Fahrenheit temperatures which are killing, singeing the birds.

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Environmentalists say there is growing evidence the technology is scorching birds that fly through t

Environmentalists say there is growing evidence the technology is scorching birds that fly through the intense heat surrounding the towers, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.


According to compliance documents released by developer BrightSource Energy last year, dozens of birds were found injured at the site during the building stage.

A two-year study of the Ivanpah plant's effects on birds, with environmental groups questioning the value of cleaner power when native wildlife is being killed or injured, is now being conducted by state and federal regulators.

The Mojave Desert has been transformed from a wilderness which homes tortoises and coyotes to a $2.2

The Mojave Desert has been transformed from a wilderness which homes tortoises and coyotes to a $2.2billion green energy complex with the power to produce nearly 400 megawatts.


Ivanpah, a joint project uniting NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy, can produce enough electricity to power 140,000 homes. Ivanpah has been described as a marker for the United States' emerging solar industry.

Solar power still only accounts for less than one percent of the nation's power output. Thousands of projects from large, utility-scale plants to small production sites are under construction or being planned, particularly across the sun-drenched Southwest.

Jeff Holland walks near some of 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors that reflect sunlight to boilers

Jeff Holland walks near some of 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors that reflect sunlight to boilers that sit on 459-foot towers at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.


"The opening of Ivanpah is a dawn of a new era in power generation in the United States," Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group says. "We are going to be a global leader in solar generation."

The plant's dedication comes as government continues to push for development of greener, cleaner power.

The computer-controlled mirrors, all 300,000 of them, are used to heat water in the boilers

The computer-controlled mirrors, all 300,000 of them, are used to heat water in the boilers' tubes and make steam, which in turn drives turbines to create electricity.


According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, the cost of building and operating a new solar thermal power plant over its lifetime is greater than generating natural gas, coal or nuclear power.

U.S. President Barack Obama has mounted a second-term drive to combat climate change, proposing first-ever limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. The president has aimed to help move the U.S. from a coal-dependent past into a future fired by wind and solar power, nuclear energy and natural gas.

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