Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Archive for the tag “Ivanpah”

Why solar-thermal farms are accurately called wing-toasters – Ivahpah offs an estimated 3,500 birds a year.


(Wing toaster portion of a wing-toasting facility in operation. Top of the tower is where the protected, migratory, and other birds get cooked. The white-hot section is around 750 degrees. Photo by James Ulvog.)

A detailed study of bird casualties estimates the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System kills about 3,500 birds a year. This is while it is only generating at 40% of expected capacity.

4/22 – Chris Clarke at ReWire – Solar Plant Likely Killed 3,500 Birds in 1st Year – The Ivanpah facility hired a firm to research the number of birds killed at the location. The number of fatalities is in a range between 2,500 and 6,700 with a point estimate of 3,504.

That is a range of 6.8 to 18.4 per day with point estimate of 9.6 each and every day.

That is in contrast to the facility’s biologist’s official count of 695 dead and eight injured birds. That would be an average of 1.9 casualties each day. Read more…

Ivanpah running at 40% of expected output while killing about 3,500 birds a year


(Photo of Ivanpah wing-toasting tower in operation. Photo by James Ulvog.)

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System next to I-15 just south of the California-Nevada border is only generating 40% of the expected electricity while at the same time killing a lot more birds than officially reported.

6/12 – Wall Street Journal – High-Tech Solar Projects Fail to Deliver / $2.2 billion California project generates 40% of expected electricity – The Ivanpah solar-thermal plant in the Mojave Desert has been open 15 months. I think it was in testing for several months before that.

It was supposed to deliver over 1 million mWh a year but is only running at 40% of that level according to the article.

Article says offered causes include a lot of equipment breaking (even though it is only around 18 months old). They are still working their way down the learning curve with plenty of on-the-job learning on how to run the plant.

As I’ve mentioned before, they were planning to use natural gas to run the facility for an hour a day to get it going before the sun power really kicks in. They are having to use four times as much natural gas to get the plant started in the morning.

Most entertaining excuse offered for poor results is there’s not enough sun. In the Mojave Desert.

For the last 15 months it’s been more cloudy than expected.

In the Mojave Desert.

For 15 months straight.

Read more…

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