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posted by Dopefish on Monday February 17 2014, @10:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the solar-is-still-awesome dept.

mattie_p writes that this was originally submitted by cmn32480 via the forums.

"According to Fox News, environmentalists are concerned about the impact of the world's largest solar plant, which is located in the Mojave Desert, on the local bird population. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (a solar thermal plant) covers nearly five square miles, has approximately 350,000 garage door sized computer controlled mirrors, and has temperatures near the boilers reaching 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant owners NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc., and BrightSource Energy say they have found dozens of dead birds in the complex in the last several months, some with burned or scorched feathers. The plant cost $2.2 Billion to construct, and had been held up in regulatory and wildlife relocation fighting for several years. It has officially been open since Thursday, February 13, 2014."

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  • (Score: 1) by choose another one on Monday February 17 2014, @02:01PM

    by choose another one (515) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:01PM (#698)

    Actually the wikipedia table says not nearly enough. Problem is it groups all bird species together, and the danger, and the impact, may be species specific.

    So, domestic cats may kill thousands of times as many birds as wind turbines, _but_ wind turbines appear to be particularly deadly to raptors, and domestic cats are very very unlikely to be deadly to large raptors. Wind turbines may well kill 100 times as many large eagles as domestic cats do, and the large eagles are rarer and take much longer to grow (and hence to replace).

    The real question is not how many birds the solar facility will kill, but which ones and what impact. If it kills a few thousand starlings, then really who cares - there are millions and millions more. If big shiny mirrors happen to be very attractive to bald eagles and it frys a few thousand of them... then you have a major problem.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Monday February 17 2014, @05:44PM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Monday February 17 2014, @05:44PM (#887) Journal

    Cats are cool, and I love mine -- but they don't really go for a fair fight. They want to be the cement truck running down a kid on a trike. My experience with cats and chicks (of the chicken type) is that once a chick is about as tall as a cat, the cat will leave it alone. As for hawks and eagles, it would have to be some rare especially agro cat who'd target those, especially considering that larger eagles could just carry the cat away for lunch.

    That said, there is no power generation without cost. Compared to the impacts of coal, oil, NG -- I have trouble believing that this plant is a major problem on a wider scale.