Image from Solar Reserve
They call them “streamers,” the birds that catch fire in mid flight over theÂ Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project close to Tonopah, Nevada. Â At least 130 met their fate while the brand new power plant was being tested.
Biologists say 130 birds caught fire mid-air while entering an area of concentrated solar energy created by the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah, Nevada.
Experts believe the birds may have been attracted by the glow of the farmâ€™s tower, but the projectâ€™s owners, SolarReserve, say they have found a way to reduce the fatalities….Â
In a test, one third of the projectâ€™s 10,000 mirrors were moved to focus sunlight at a point 1,200 feet above ground level â€“ at approximately twice the height of its tower.Â
It took biologists just an hour and a half to notice the first of the â€˜streamersâ€™ â€“ birds that catch fire and leave a trail of smoke in the air -when entering the field of solar energy.
So, for a plant that is supposed to produce 110 megawatts of electricity at its peak – roughly the same as a coal fired plant which runs whether the sun is shining or not – to keep birds from roasting in what is essentially a solar oven, operators refocused a third of the mirrors?
And the green movement people wonder why conservationists have an issue with their ideas.
The bird casualties reported for this plant are a fraction of those observed at the Ivanpah Solar Plant in California. Â However, in a charmingly ironic twist, it is alarming to environmentalists that birds are being sacrificed in the name of green energy.
‘The deaths are alarming. It’s hard to say whether that’s the location or the technology,’ said Garry George, renewable-energy director for the California chapter of the Audubon Society. ‘There needs to be some caution.’
H/T, Source, and Quotes from Daily Mail