Good news for birds – proposed plan for a more dangerous solar project pulled by owner
The owner of the proposed Palen Solar Electric Generating System in the California desert that would have been more damaging to birds that the Ivanpah facility has withdrawn their plans. That according to reporting by Chris Clarke at ReWire: Massive Solar Power Project for California Desert Scrapped.
The California Energy Commission reversed its December 2013 denial of the project this month. It approved the project to move forward with only one of the two towers. Each of the towers is estimated by the CEC to have four times the impact on birds as the Ivanpah facility, which uses the same concentrating solar power tower technology.
The article says a withdrawal of the plans this past Friday, 9/26, by the owner means starting the lengthy application process from scratch if they want to build the wing-toaster facility. The only exception to a fresh start would be if the plant’s design were changed to a parabolic trough design from the concentrating tower.
If birds could read the internet, they would be relieved.
Background on the devastation from this technology
If you need an intro to the damage caused by the Ivanpah solar facility off the I-15 south of the California-Nevada border, check out the AP article, Emerging Solar Plants Scorch Birds in Mid-Air.
The article describes that federal wildlife staff observed a ‘streamer’ about every two minutes. Streamers are birds that enter the solar flux in normal flight mode but exit the 700 degree field with visible smoke streaming from their body as they fall to the earth.
One biologist explains that for a variety of reasons the official count of dead birds is severely understated. He adjusts for the various causes of undercount and estimates there may be up to 28,000 bird kills a year from the facility.
Dazzling the eyes of pilots for miles around is another issue mentioned in the article.
Oh, article also says biologists don’t know of any way to reduce the number of birds killed using this technology.