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.