Wednesday, 16 July 2014

How Dogs Can Save Birds From Being Incinerated by a Solar Power Plant

By Todd Woody | Takepart.com14 hours

Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:11:43 PDT

At the Ivanpah solar power plant in the Southern California desert, 340,000 mirrors concentrate the sun’s rays on water-filled boilers that sit atop 459-foot towers. That heat creates steam to drive a turbine that produces enough carbon-free electricity to power 140,000 homes.

That’s good for you, me, and the planet. But for the birds, not so much. A report issued in April by federal scientists called Ivanpah a “mega-trap” for birds that are instantly incinerated as they fly into an 800-degree Fahrenheit “solar flux field” generated by the mirrors. When the biologists visited Ivanpah, they saw a bird go up in smoke every two minutes. Other birds died when they collided with the mirrors or when heat singed their feathers and they plummeted to the ground. A peregrine falcon, a red-shouldered hawk and an ash-throated flycatcher have been among the birds killed at Ivanpah.

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