The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world’s largest solar plant of its kind, recently switched on. At full power it produces enough electricity for 140,000 homes but it is attracting controversy over its bird kills.
Any time an oil barge ran aground and oil seeped out, there were endless TV ads, magazine covers and media stories about the birds that died or were injured. We all remember the birds covered in tar being cleaned gently by kind-hearted volunteers. Now that solar farms are killing birds and disrupting entire food chains, will the environmentalists, upset about the turn of events, be heard as they demand something to be done?
It’s unclear what the environmentalists think we will be able to heat our homes with if nuclear, oil, gas and now windmills and solar are too deadly.
Environmental groups say the nearly 350,000 gigantic mirrors are generating 1000 degree Fahrenheit temperatures which are killing and singeing birds.
U.S. fish and Wildlife came out with a report that found solar facilities in California are “mega traps” that kill and injure birds.
Three solar farms in Southern California were studied and it was found that 233 different birds from 71 species were found dead or injured due to:
1. Solar flux: Exposure to temperatures over 800 degrees F.
2. Impact (or blunt force) trauma: The birds’ wings are rendered inoperable while flying, causing them to crash into the ground. Birds that do not die are often injured badly enough to make them vulnerable to predators.
3. Predators: When a bird’s wings are singed and it can not fly, it loses its primary means of defense against animals like foxes and coyotes.
Birds included hummingbirds, swifts, swallows, doves, hawks, finches, warblers, and owls.
Besides the intense heat, some birds are mistaking large solar panels for bodies of water. The injured birds are also attracting insects and other predators to the area.
The state might not proceed with the Palen solar Electric Generating System because of this study.
Source: Washington Times