Author Topic: Horror at the world's largest solar farm days after it opens as it is revealed panels are SCORCHING birds that fly over them  (Read 694 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2560494/Worlds-largest-solar-farm-SCORCHING-BIRDS-fly-it.html#ixzz2tVKubuOF

Horror at the world's largest solar farm days after it opens as it is revealed panels are SCORCHING birds that fly over them

    The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world's largest solar plant of its kind, recently switched on

    The plants is located on five square miles of the Mojave Desert, near the California / Nevada border

    State energy officials have released photos of bird with singed feathers from flying into the hot 'thermal flux' around the towers, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit

    The plant is made up of three generating units surrounded by more than 300,000 reflecting mirrors

    At full power it produces enough electricity for 140,000 homes but is still attracting controversy over environment

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 02:16 EST, 16 February 2014 | UPDATED: 10:03 EST, 16 February 2014

Environmentalists have hit out at a giant new solar farm in the Mojave Desert as mounting evidence reveals birds flying through the extremely hot 'thermal flux' surrounding the towers are being scorched.

After years of regulatory tangles around the impact on desert wildlife, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened on Thursday but environmental groups say the nearly 350,000 gigantic mirrors are generating 1000 degree Fahrenheit temperatures which are killing and singing birds.

According to compliance documents released by developer BrightSource Energy last year, dozens of birds were found injured at the site during the building stage.

State and federal regulators are currently conducting a two-year study of the Ivanpah plant's effects on birds, with environmental groups questioning the the value of cleaner power when native wildlife is being killed.

Scroll down for video



'Tower-power': Heat emanating from the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world's largest solar farm of its kind, has allegedly killed and injured dozens of birds and other wildlife in the Mojave desert

Injured wildlife: Environmentalists say there is growing evidence the technology is scorching birds that fly through the intense heat surrounding the towers, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit



Big changes: The Mojave Desert has been transformed from a wilderness which homes tortoises and coyotes to a $2.2billion green energy complex with the power to produce nearly 400 megawatts



Bright future: Jeff Holland walks near some of 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors that reflect sunlight to boilers that sit on 459-foot towers at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System



Shine on: The computer-controlled mirrors, all 300,000 of them, are used to heat water in the boilers' tubes and make steam, which in turn drives turbines to create electricity



Looking for some hot stuff: A boiler at The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System on the California-Nevada border vents steam as the field is set to finally open today after years of regulatory and legal tangles

Ivanpah, a joint project uniting NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy, can produce enough electricity to power 140,000 homes.

Larger projects are on the way, but for now, Ivanpah is being described as a marker for the United States' emerging solar industry.

While solar power accounts for less than one per cent of the nation's power output, thousands of projects from large, utility-scale plants to small production sites are under construction or being planned, particularly across the sun-drenched Southwest.

'The opening of Ivanpah is a dawn of a new era in power generation in the United States,' said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group.

'We are going to be a global leader in solar generation.'

The plant's dedication comes as government continues to push for development of greener, cleaner power.

His plan aims to help move the U.S. from a coal-dependent past into a future fired by wind and solar power, nuclear energy and natural gas.

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, the cost of building and operating a new solar thermal power plant over its lifetime is greater than generating natural gas, coal or nuclear power.

It costs a conventional coal plant $100, on average, to produce a megawatt-hour of power, but that figure is $261 for solar thermal power, according to 2011 estimates.

The figures do not account for incentives such as state or federal tax credits that can impact the cost.

Ken Johnson, a spokesman for the solar association, said in a statement that solar systems have seen 'dramatic price declines' in the last few years.

That's good for utilities in California, which must obtain a third of their electricity from solar and other renewable sources by 2020.
 
Vast new solar thermal energy plant opens in California



Supervising power: Jeff Holland, left, talks with Noel Hanson as they look out over a part of the five-square-mile field of gigantic mirrors set to produce enough electricity to power 140,000 homes



Shining beacon: While solar power accounts for less than one per cent of the nation's power output, thousands of projects from large, utility-scale plants to small production sites are under construction or being planned, particularly across the sun-drenched Southwest




Nice view: One of the three boiler towers with uses the reflections from the mirrors to heat water and create steam which powers the turbines to create electricity

The Ivanpah site, about 45 miles southwest of Las Vegas, has virtually unbroken sunshine most of the year and is near transmission lines that carry power to consumers.

Using technology known as solar-thermal, more than 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors roughly the size of a garage door reflect sunlight to boilers atop 459-foot towers. The sun's power is used to heat water in the boilers' tubes and make steam, which drives turbines to create electricity.

While many people are familiar with rooftop solar, or photovoltaic panels, 'these are a little bit different. This takes the sun's rays and reflects them onto towers,' said NRG spokesman Jeff Holland.

The plant can be a startling sight for drivers heading toward Las Vegas along busy Interstate 15. Amid miles of rock and scrub, its vast array of 7-by-10-foot mirrors creates the image of an ethereal lake shimmering atop the desert floor. In fact, it's built on a dry lakebed.

Google announced in 2011 that it would invest $168million in the project. As part of its financing, BrightSource also lined up $1.6billion in loans guaranteed by the U.S. Energy Department.

Ivanpah can be seen as a success story and a cautionary tale, highlighting the inevitable trade-offs between the need for cleaner power and the loss of fragile, open land. The California Energy Commission concluded that while the solar plant would impose 'significant impacts on the environment ... the benefits the project would provide override those impacts.'



Uniting powers: The gigantic green energy project is a joint mission between NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy



Looking at the man in the mirror: Noel Hanson stands near some of 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors on The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System



All under control: Workers monitor more than 300,000 mirrors from The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System's high tech control room



Field of (green) dreams: The field of mirrors sprawls over five square miles of the Mojave Desert on the border of Nevada and California, about 45miles southwest of Las Vegas



Such disputes are likely to continue for years as more companies seek to develop solar, wind and geothermal plants on land treasured by environmentalists who also support the growth of renewable energy. At issue is what is worth preserving and at what cost, as California pushes to generate more electricity from renewable sources.

In 2012, the federal government established 17 'solar energy zones' in an attempt to direct development to land it has identified as having fewer wildlife and natural-resource obstacles. The zones comprise about 450 square miles in six states — California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

The Western Watershed Project is continuing to push a lawsuit against federal agencies that reviewed the Ivanpah project. Its California director, Michael J. Connor, said alternatives to the site were not considered and serious environmental impacts, including fragmenting the tortoise population, were ignored.

'Do we really need to have these giant plants first, or is it better to generate solar power on people's roofs, the place it's going to be used?' Connor asked.

NRG did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

Resch said a key issue for the industry will be maintaining government policies that encourage development, including tax credits for solar projects that are set to expire in 2016 and government loan guarantees. 'The direct result of these policies is projects like Ivanpah,' he said.

According to statistics compiled by the Energy Department, the solar industry employs more than 140,000 Americans at about 6,100 companies, with employment increasing nearly 20 percent since the fall of 2012.


“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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God gave us oil for a reason!

Sending so much heat back into the atmosphere it fries birds - and that doesn't create more "Goreble warming?"

and BTW this is a Harry Reid project...... that old crook who won't let them store nuclear waste in caves way north of Las Vegas....... is okay with solar farms to pollute our desert, kill our wildlife and use precious water supplies.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/maritanoon/2012/07/06/more_obama_green_energy_corruption/page/full


More Obama Green Energy Corruption
Marita Noon | Jul 06, 2012

The previous green-energy crony-corruption column unraveled SolarReserve and its share of “meaningful” political connections –– Citigroup, a major investor in SolarReserve, also a top 2008 Obama donor, as well as two former Citigroup executives, one of whom is an Obama “buddy and bundler” and now has a “seat” at the White House, while the other served on President Obama’s Transition Team and now sits on his Jobs Council.

Then add more investor connections –– one of whom went on to be a 2008 Obama campaign advisor and then a DOE advisory role under Secretary Chu. Another was a 2008 Obama bundler who just so happened to be a frequent White House visitor, while the other was related to the former Speaker of the House. The mix is topped off with a high-powered lobbyist with White House connections, and several SolarReserve board members who just so happen to be 2008 (and 2010) Democrat, Harry Reid, and Obama donors.

The combination is a recipe for SolarReserve’s $737 million DOE “noninvestment” grade loan guarantee, which was rated a BB by Fitch and potential millions in a 1603 tax-free grant—both programs implemented under the 2009 Obama Stimulus package.

SolarReserve is only the first chapter in our green-energy crony-corruption story. The next is BrightSource Energy. Like SolarReserve, the BrightSource tale also has interesting political ties: Obama, Reid and Democrat donors, as well as a DOE advisor. However, it gets even brighter when you look into its high-powered investors.

As featured in the introduction, here is a quick overview of BrightSource’s green-energy crony-corruption Story:

BrightSource Energy has a three-unit power system project known as “Ivanpah,” located near the California/Nevada border, south of Las Vegas, which uses a proprietary power-tower solar thermal system. Ivanpah I and III have a BB+ rating while Ivanpah II is BB. On April 11, 2011, the DOE announced the finalization of $1.6 billion in loan guarantees for BrightSource’s Ivanpah project. The apparent “payoffs” to Democrats are myriad—the company having donated at least $21,600 to Democrats since 2008 (and zero dollars to Republicans). According to a Washington Free Beacon report, Senator Harry “Reid received almost $4,000 from Brightsource executives in the 2010 cycle, including $2,400 from CEO John Woolard, who hosted a fundraiser for the majority leader. Woolard is also a Barack Obama donor and has visited the White House 10 times since Obama took office.” Additionally, Sanjay Wagle (a significant 2008 Obama campaign supporter and contributor), a principal at Vantage Point Partners (the major stakeholder in BrightSource) was an advisor at the DOE at the time the loan was approved. And, John Bryson, BrightSource Chairman, became Obama’s Secretary of Commerce (although he resigned in June following a series of mysterious auto accidents) and has ties to an organization that helped craft the stimulus package.

The above thumbnail introduced the key players. Here we’ll really get to know them and, more specifically, their connections to the Obama administration.

John Bryson was Chairman of BrightSource Energy prior to his appointment as Secretary of Commerce with the Obama White House in May 2011—shortly after the BrightSource loan was approved. Bryson’s appointment was confirmed in October. The Washington Free Beacon reports: “According to financial disclosures, Bryson had up to $500,000 in stock options from BrightSource and a $700,000 advisory fee from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, an investment group that has bought a number of solar farms in California. He was also the CEO of Edison International, which obtained exclusive power purchase agreements for four of the solar projects, at the time the awards were issued.”

Bryson also has ties to Obama supporter George Soros. In 1970, Bryson was a co-founder of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which is funded, in part, by the Tides Foundation, to which philanthropist George Soros has donated more than $7 million over the years. Ron Arnold of the Green Tracking Library says: “the NRDC is one of the richest, most snobbish elite Big Green groups in America.” The NRDC is a member of and funder for the Apollo Alliance, a far left organization, which has boasted about being behind several of the Obama administration’s “green” initiatives, in addition to crafting “green” sections of the stimulus bill. (More on the Apollo Alliance in a future column.)

John Woolard is President and CEO of BrightSource Energy. A March 16 2012 hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (HOGRC) revealed that Woolard used his connections to try to get a “commitment” for the DOE loan for BrightSource—despite the fact that Secretary Chu has repeatedly said the loans were based on merit. During the hearing, Woolard said: “I believe that everything we did in our project was fully on the merits. It was a very solid project.” Yet, a series of emails involving Woolard show him interacting with decision-makers in the administration seeking political influence. HOGRC Chairman Issa told The Hill: “Clearly we have a discovery of emails showing there was direct conversation intended by the people having those conversations to be lobbying all the way up to and including President Obama.”

The emails reveal communications between Woolard and Matt Rogers, senior adviser to the secretary of energy for the Recovery Act, and between Woolard and Jonathan Silver, executive director of the Energy Department loan program. The January 2010 Woolard/Rogers email referenced a conversation between Peter Darbee, then-CEO and chairman of Pacific Gas and Electric, and President Obama that addressed the program’s challenges. At the hearing, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, emphasized to Woolard,  PG& E and Darbee “had a vested interest in getting this thing approved because you were providing them their required commitment for green power.” The March 7, 2011, Woolard/Silver email asked Silver to look over a letter drafted by Woolard and then-Brightsource chairman John Bryson that requested direct White House influence in BrightSource’s loan guarantee application. The letter, intended to be sent to then-White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, said: “We need a commitment from the WH to quarterback loan closure between OMB and DOE.” It also included a request for “guidance and support from the White House.” One month after the email exchange asking for “direct White House influence,” the $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee was approved. Even the Washington Post confirms that: “venture capitalists who held advisory roles with the Energy Department were given access to Obama’s top advisers.”

According to the Washington Examiner report, “President Obama discussed the Department of Energy loan program with a stakeholder dependent on the DOE, and the conversation appears to have expedited the process.”

The “stakeholder” (Darbee) and Rogers and Silver each have their own interesting “connections” that can be found on the Green Corruption Blog.

Sanjay Wagle, according to the HOGRC report, “has most recently served as Renewable Energy Advisor to DOE under Secretary Chu.” The report continues, “Prior to arriving in Washington, Wagle was a principal at Vantage Point Venture Partners, a cleantech venture capital firm whose investments received $2.4 billion in taxpayer funds….His former firm and the companies it invested in, therefore had a large stake in the financing decisions being made by DOE at the time.” Wagle joined the DOE just as, according to the Washington Post, “the administration embarked on a massive program to stimulate the economy with federal investments in clean-technology firms.”

In addition to being a major stakeholder in BrightSource, Vantage Point received different types of government funding for at least nine green energy projects. (Note: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a Partner and Senior Advisor at Vantage Point.) The HOGRC report lists three of the nine projects, so the $2.4 billion cited in the report is probably really much higher.

Wagle was an Obama fundraiser for the 2008 campaign through his Clean Tech for Obama group.  In time for the 2012 election cycle, Wagle left the DOE and has returned to California to work as an investor and clean-tech advisor.  Like some of his DOE peers (Steve Spinner and Steve Westly), he has probably gone back to fundraising for Obama.

Bernie Toon, who served then-Senator Joe Biden as his Chief of Staff, became a lobbyist for BrightSource Energy on March 6, 2011. According to the Wall Street Journal, “BrightSource spent more than $500,000 on lobbying in the third quarter of 2010 through the second quarter of 2011.”  $40,000 of the lobbying money went to Toon—which paid off immediately. Toon, and BrightSource executives made two visits to the White House in March. The loan was approved the following month. Toon’s contract ended the day after BrightSource got the loan.

In addition to these high-profile connections, BrightSource Energy’s investors include other top Obama donors including Google, Morgan Stanley, BP Alternative Energy, and Goldman Sachs—though, according to Forbes, “the federal loan guarantee is financing the bulk of Invanpah’s construction costs.”

As we’ve seen with SolarReserve, and now with BrightSource Energy, the companies who get the government funding are those with inside connections that may be decades old, as in the case of Toon, or current, as in the case of John Bryson, who would still be Secretary of Commerce if not for the recent car incidents. Sadly, the widely publicized Solyndra story, SolarReserve and BrightSource Energy are just three of the many stories in the green-energy crony-corruption saga. Next week, we’ll profile two energy companies not only in Senator Harry Ried's back yard, but with unique political connections and even DOE violations.

Author’s note: Thanks to Christine Lakatos, the Green Corruption blogger for research assistance.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline AbaraXas

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Putting five square miles of mirrors in one of the hottest deserts, concentrating reflection at a handful of specific spots and they are surprised this happened?

Archimedes figured this out about twenty-two hundred years ago.

http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/A/Archimedes_and_the_burning_mirrors.html
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 04:10:28 PM by AbaraXas »
I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

Offline Atomic Cow

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"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Rapunzel

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Putting five square miles of mirrors in one of the hottest deserts, concentrating reflection at a handful of specific spots and they are surprised this happened?

Archimedes figured this out about twenty-two hundred years ago.

http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/A/Archimedes_and_the_burning_mirrors.html


Harry didn't care about any of this, all he saw was dollar signs in the form of filling his and his sons pockets.  The area they placed them is just off one of the Baker Grade between LA and Vegas.. one of the hottest spots in the nation every summer.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline aligncare

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Do we really need to have these giant plants first, or is it better to generate solar power on people's roofs, the place it's going to be used?' Connor asked.

I have always argued for point of use wind turbines, solar, and passive.. It's more efficient and consistent with principles of free-market enterprise, independence and liberty.
Some #NeverTrumpers are like the pockets of Japanese who didn't know the war was over

Offline Rapunzel

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I have always argued for point of use wind turbines, solar, and passive.. It's more efficient and consistent with principles of free-market enterprise, independence and liberty.

I agree.  How many homes could they apply solar for the cost of one of these plants. 
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776


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