Ivanpah

NATIVE AMERICAN SPIRITUAL BELIEFS AT STAKE

 

Originally Published on the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales & Robert Lundahl

April 22, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Native American spiritual beliefs are under attack. On Friday, April 10, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments for, and against, Native Americans being allowed to worship at their ancient sacred site inside Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Facility. The immediate concern is gaining access; the larger issue is freedom of religion.

IVANPAH, WORLD'S BIGGEST SOLAR PLANT, WANTS TAXPAYERS TO PAY OFF ITS DEBTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –Owners of Ivanpah, the world’s biggest concentrated solar energy facility, borrowed $1.6 billion from the federal government to build the project in the Mojave Desert. Now they are seeking a $539 million federal grant to pay off that debt.  In other words, they want taxpayers to pay off their loan that was also funded by U.S. taxpayers.

UNDER FIRE FROM WILDLIFE OFFICIALS, DESERT SOLAR CO. CLAIMS NEUTERING CATS IS CURE FOR BURNING BIRDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 20, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials have warned California this month that solar-tower technology used at Ivanpah and proposed by BrightSource near Joshua Tree National Park on the California-Arizona border have the “highest lethality potential” of all desert solar technologies.  The warning comes after Ivanpah, the first facility to use the concentrated solar technology, was found to be burning birds alive, Associated Press reports.

AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER IN THE MAKING?

 

An analysis on the impacts of energy policies and projects on the future of East County

By Jessica Richmond and Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A growing number of East County residents, fire chiefs, environmentalists and elected officials are voicing alarm over the proposed large-scale destruction of natural and scenic resources for numerous industrial-scale “renewable” wind and solar energy projects and related powerlines, substations and more.  A map reveals that East County is targeted for a disproportionate share of these projects, pushed forward by energy companies and politicians who contend such development is needed to disrupt disastrous effects of global warming and fill the regional energy gap left by closing San Onofre nuclear generation stations.

But opponents say these projects are not green or sustainable, instead setting up our region for an ecological disaster in the making. They raise some crucial questions:

How did San Diego’s East County come to be targeted for fast-tracking by federal, state and county governments to facilitate construction of so many massive-scale solar and wind projects and related transmission lines in rural, mountain and desert areas instead of urban locations where demand for power is highest? 

Why isn’t preference given to incentivize less destructive renewable options, such as rooftop and parking lot solar or small-scale wind turbines for use by residents, schools, municipal governments and businesses?

A BETTER OPTION TO INDUSTRIAL ENERGY PROJECTS IN OUR REGION IS PROPOSED

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 5, 2014 (San Diego) –“The San Diego County Planning Commissioners and Board of Supervisors have an obligation to look out for the greater good of the people of San Diego,” Timothy D. Schoechle, PhD, an international consultant on smart grid expert technology, engineering expert, and author of the report Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid wrote in his comments to the County’s planning director opposing Soitec’s plan to industrialize rural East County with massive solar modules that other experts have said could destroy the entire ecosystem of the region.

Instead, Dr. Schoechle lays out a detailed case for a saner, safer alternative—and why current government policies are polar opposites of what’s needed to protect the public against rapacious energy corporations.

DESERT SOLAR PROJECTS ARE BURNING BIRDS ALIVE

 

Shocking toll from solar facility pales, however, compared to estimated 100,000 bird deaths from wind turbines in CA

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2013 (California) – Desert solar projects have been touted as environmentally friendly.  But now disturbing evidence has emerged that these projects are incinerating birds flying overhead.Two months ago,  34 birds were found dead or injured at Ivanpah Solar (photo, left, by Tom Budlong) owned by BrightSource Energy in  San Bernardino County, California. Almost half had singed feathers and some had nothing left but spines where feathers melted from  reflected beams of sunlight, according to a report  in The Desert Sun.

The toll was even worse in October, when 52 dead birds were found at the site, 17 with scorched feathers (see photo, below right)  Ivanpah, still in testing phase, is the world's largest solar facility -- but it's not the only one frying birds. Another 19 birds were found dead at another project, Desert Sunlight, also in California.  More such facilities are planned, incdluing Palen’s proposed project in the Coachella Valley that would be located near two wildlife refuges where migrating birds stop in the Pacific Flyway.

NEW RISKS FROM DESERT SOLAR FOUND: BURNED BIRDS, PLUS HAZARDS TO PILOTS, MOTORISTS & MILITARY

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – With over 100 large-scale solar applications pending in the Mojave Desert and more planned in San Diego and Imperial counties, an article published in the Los Angeles Times raises some disturbing questions.