concentrated solar

A DARK DAY FOR DEMOCRACY: SUPERVISORS OVERRIDE BOULEVARD'S ELECTED PLANNING OFFICIALS, FORCE INDUSTRIAL-SCALE SOLAR ON RURAL TOWN

 

By Miriam Raftery

View video of full hearing: http://sdcounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=1660

Note: Tune in Friday to our radio show on 89.1 FM from 5 to 6 p.m. to hear interviews with Boulevard residents and a hydrologist sharing their views on this outcome.  Jim Whelan, a representative of Soitec project property owners Hamann and Gibson was invited and refused to participate.

 

February 4, 2015 (San Diego) – Boulevard residents fought down tears in stunned disbelief today (photo, left) as San Diego Supervisors voted 4 to 1 to approve Soitec’s Tierra Del Sol and Rugged Solar projects, overriding a unanimous vote by Boulevard’s elected planning group that opposed the projects. Collectively the two massive projects will cover 1,185 acres (the equivalent of 185 city blocks) of rural terrain with thousands of concentrated solar tracking panels, each 48 feet wide by 30 feet tall.

Only Supervisor Dianne Jacob voted against the project, following an extensive speech in opposition. She called county staff’s finding that the project was compatible with rural community character “absolutely incomprehensible to me.”  Jacob pointed out that the General Plan is supposed to assure environmental stewardship, preservation of agricultural lands, open space and community character, among other qualities – all of which will be destroyed if the Soitec projects are built.

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.