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Old 11-18-2014, 11:38 PM
jimbo jimbo is offline
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Default Re: Giant Ivanpah solar plant south of Las Vegas falls short

The article cited is just a small part of the problems mentioned. Among others:

The plant is killing birds at the rate of over 700/day. Many of these are species on the endangered or threatened lists. There are so many being killed that one proposal to locate the dead and injured birds is to train dogs to find them.

This does not include land dwelling species, the most prominent of which is the desert tortoise, which were moved at a cost of 56 million. Turns out that the move didn't work as well as expected, and a recent proposal is use another hundreds of acres to fence and dedicate to desert tortoise habitat. There are also several other species of endangered mammals and reptiles and plants that have lost their environment.

The plant is now allotted 5.5 times the original estimate of gas usage, while the plant is currently producing about half the design energy. I cannot find estimates of increased pollution, but presumably 5.5 times more natural gas would produce 5.5 times the pollution.

Pilots are complaining of the danger of stray light blinding them. (It is illegal to shine laser beams or other high intensity light at planes. Apparently this does not apply to solar mirrors)

Plant construction and footprint destroyed 3500 acres of public land. By contrast a nuclear plant producing a similar amount of energy would use 38 acres, and at less potential damage to the environment.

All this from a plant paid for with a 1.3 billion loan guarantee from the taxpayer, which the plant owners claim to be unable to pay. Their solution is a 500+ million grant from the taxpayer so that the loan will not fall in arrears. Said grant has been applied for. I'd give odds they will get it.

There is good news concerning California solar, however. Last month a similar proposed plant was scrapped.

Last edited by jimbo; 11-18-2014 at 11:47 PM..
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