Monday, August 25, 2014


Green technology comes with delays, regulation compliance, and an invitation to lawsuits.

Wall Street Journal/Review and Outlook/Opinion, The Hockey Schtick, 8/22/14. "Spontaneous Solar Combustion. Will green activists feel cognitive dissonance for turning on renewable energy?"

We build advanced, regulated green technology.
But the Center for Biological Diversity sues "everyone". 
"The sprawling Ivanpah solar power station in the Mojave Desert probably never would have been built without environmental activists and the subsidies and mandates they created, so there's more than a little irony that BrightSource Energy, Google GOOGL +0.02% and another clean-tech utility are now getting an education in the green opposition that bedevils other American businesses. Lobbies like the Sierra Club and Audubon Society are turning on solar farms for avian mass murder.

The Center for Biological Diversity speculates that Ivanpah will kill 28,000 birds a year. In a study earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's forensics laboratory calls the apparatus a "mega-trap" for insects, swallows, road runners, hawks and even monarch butterflies, "creating an entire food chain vulnerable to injury and death."  The Biological Diversity folks are suing to force solar farms to install lights or noise alert warnings to encourage wildlife to adopt a different flight path. Some California legislators are accidentally sensible and want to ban plants like Ivanpah, which sounds like a deal for birds and taxpayers.
.... We got a no-irony-intended email from a lobbyist friend working for BrightSource on Thursday explaining "avian fatalities"—the plant's actual year-to-date body count is all of 321 in total, and only 133 of them related to so-called "solar flux"—and Ivanpah's Avian and Bat Monitoring and Management Plan. The company notes that as many as 3.7 billion birds each year are killed by cats and 980 million by crashing into walls.

This green-on-green showdown exquisitely captures the reason that the America that built the Hoover Dam in five years now has so much trouble building those "infrastructure" projects everybody in Washington and Sacramento claim to favor. Environmental review and permitting are often dragged out a decade or longer across a slew of lawsuits and federal and state agencies. Ivanpah was required to spend $34 million on a "Head Start" nursery for desert tortoises. Really.  So it is that the same beau monde activists who think the Keystone XL pipeline is a threat to civilization are now turning on non-fossil fuel power too. Maybe this time they'll feel cognitive dissonance, but then they never do."   Read more.

Reference -  Ivanpah solar power plant, includes a development video, 3:17 minutes. "The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is designed to do exactly that. Ivanpah utilizes proven solar thermal technology and a low environmental impact design to power California’s clean energy economy with cost-competitive and reliable solar power." 

Wikipedia/Ivanpah Solar Power Facility.  " The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is a solar thermal power project in the California Mojave Desert, 64 km (40 miles) southwest of Las Vegas.  ...  The project was developed by BrightSource Energy and Bechtel. .... BrightSource has contracts to sell about two-thirds of the power generated at Ivanpah to PG&E, and the rest to SCE."

Related articles - Treehugger/10 years of looking forward/Michael Graham Richard, 3/27/13. "300,000 mirrors: World's largest thermal solar plant (377MW) under construction in the Mojave. "The largest concentrating solar power plant (100 MW) in operation is currently in Abu Dhabi, but it won't stay at the top of the list for too long. Brightsource Energy is putting the finishing touches on its massive Ivanpah concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in the Mojave desert, and if all goes well, the switch should be flipped this year. "  

Las Vegas Review-Journal/Business/Associated Press/Brian Skoloff and Michael R. Blood, 2/13/14.  "The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, sprawling across roughly 5 square miles of federal land near the California-Nevada border, formally opens Thursday (2/14/14) after years of regulatory and legal tangles ranging from relocating protected tortoises to assessing the impact on Mojave milkweed and other plants."  

Extreme Tech/Sebastian Anthony, 8/20/14. "What spans 1,600 hectares, cost $2.2 billion to build, and potentially fries hundreds of thousands of birds per year? The new BrightSource solar power plant in California’s Mojave Dessert. .... While it might sound like BrightSource has created some kind of bird-blasting death ray, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Back in January, it was estimated that — in the US alone — between 365 million and 988 million birds are killed every year by crashing into windows. We’re mostly talking about domestic, low-rise windows, too — not skyscrapers. Likewise, a study last year showed that domestic cats — yes, your beloved Fluffy — are killing more than a billion birds per year in the US."

Note the photograph of the Ivalpah Solar Plant is from the related Treehugger article (above).

Submitted by Jim Wagner 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Idiots. They are all idiots.