Google’s $2.2B bird scorching solar project

Remember that building in London that was melting cars because of its unfortunately curved shape and position with respect to the morning sun? They called it the Fryscraper.

Now Google has a similar issue, a massive solar energy project with mirrors concentrating solar energy, heating the air to 1000+ degrees Fahrenheit (about 537 Centigrade).

Seems birds that fly in the path of the beam are being incinerated.

The $2.2 billion solar farm, which spans over five square miles of federal land southwest of Las Vegas, includes three towers as tall as 40-story buildings. Nearly 350,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect sunlight onto boilers atop the towers, creating steam that drives power generators.

The owners of the project— NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy Inc., the company that developed the “tower power” solar technology—call the plant a major feat of engineering that can light up about 140,000 homes a year.

But the birds, what about the birds?

Regulators said they anticipated that some birds would be killed once the Ivanpah plant started operating, but that they didn’t expect so many to die during the plant’s construction and testing. The dead birds included a peregrine falcon, a grebe, two hawks, four nighthawks and a variety of warblers and sparrows. State and federal regulators are overseeing a two-year study of the facility’s effects on birds.



  • The White Tiger

    Google stopped funding this and other concentrated solar projects over two years ago, after investing about $168 million. Compare that to the majority owner NRG, which has invested $300 million, and seems to be the one running the plant.

    To call this “Google’s $2.2B solar project” is disingenuous.

  • JohnDoey

    That is nothing compared to the number of birds that a typical coal-powered plant kills with its exhaust, or that the Fukushima reactor killed with radiation.

    • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

      links?

    • ort888

      Yeah, I mean, I like birds as much as the next guy, but “dozens of bird found dead in months” doesn’t really seem like that big of a deal when looking at the big picture.

  • yummyyummyfly

    Interesting — the liberals in Obama’s govt. went after the people working on the Keystone pipeline with criminal cases for the death of protected birds… I wonder if those liberals will do the same with Google.

  • Zepfhyr

    Guys, you’re missing the bigger picture here. This is clearly a prototype for Google’s solar death ray that they are probably building on the moon as we speak.

  • Mayson

    If you’re not going to worry about the billion birds a year that die from flying into windows, bitching about this is asinine.

  • GFYantiapplezealots

    God you Google sheep are pathetic. BTW Google kills a lot more birds than this. Just look at how many wind farms they’re funding. C’mon Google, maybe put some of those engineers to work on finding solutions to these issues instead of on the best way to mine my emails for personal information.

    https://www.google.com/green/energy/investments/