Breitbart brings this “turkey roast” to bare:
In February, Secretary of Energy dedicated the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System in southeastern California, calling it a “shining example of how America is becoming a world leader in solar energy” [no pun intended, apparently].
However, the project–funded by $1.6 billion in Department of Energy loan guarantees from the 2009 stimulus–is killing wildlife as it concentrates heat on reflecting towers to maximize output.
The Ivanpah array (seen from the air in a Breitbart News photograph above) is cited in a new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that describes it as a “mega-trap” for wildlife, according to the Palm Spring Desert Sun.
In one section of the report, law enforcement officers from the agency describe visiting Ivanpah and witnessing “birds entering the solar flux and igniting,” each becoming a “streamer” of fire and smoke…
And the Washington Times (Via Lonely Conservative) points out some of the issues at hand:
1. Solar flux: Exposure to temperatures over 800 degrees F.
2. Impact (or blunt force) trauma: The birds’ wings are rendered inoperable while flying, causing them to crash into the ground. Birds that do not die are often injured badly enough to make them vulnerable to predators.
3. Predators: When a bird’s wings are singed and it can not fly, it loses its primary means of defense against animals like foxes and coyotes.
The study found that besides the intense heat, birds may be mistaking large solar panels for bodies of water. The injured birds then attract insects and other predators to the area. They, too, are then vulnerable to injury or death.
In one instance, researchers found “hundreds upon hundreds” of butterfly carcasses (including Monarchs). The insects were attracted to the light from the solar farms, which in turn attracted birds and perpetuated a cycle of death and injury.
Other issues with alternative energy:
But there is a “hidden” cost behind powering a plant not producing enough power:
…But Ivanpah uses natural gas as a supplementary fuel, and data from the California Energy Commission show the plant burned enough of it in 2014 – its first year of operation – to emit more than 46,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
That’s nearly twice the pollution threshold at which power plants and factories in California are required to participate in the state’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions.
The same amount of natural gas burned at a conventional power plant would have produced enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 17,000 California homes – roughly a quarter of the Ivanpah plant’s total electricity projection for 2014….