In February, Secretary of Energy dedicated the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System in southeastern California, calling it a “shining example of how America is becoming a world leader in solar energy” [no pun intended, apparently].
However, the project–funded by $1.6 billion in Department of Energy loan guarantees from the 2009 stimulus–is killing wildlife as it concentrates heat on reflecting towers to maximize output.
The Ivanpah array (seen from the air in a Breitbart News photograph above) is cited in a new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that describes it as a “mega-trap” for wildlife, according to the Palm Spring Desert Sun.
In one section of the report, law enforcement officers from the agency describe visiting Ivanpah and witnessing “birds entering the solar flux and igniting,” each becoming a “streamer” of fire and smoke.
Solar energy is not yet competitive with other forms of energy, including natural gas, which has resulted in both cheaper energy and lower carbon emissions.
In 2012, BrightSource Energy Inc., which runs Ivapah, canceled an initial public offering (IPO) on Wall Street, in what was seen as recognition that investors no longer regarded the renewable energy industry as one that could survive without increasingly limited government support.