Solar Power Farms scorching Birds to Death: Solar facilities to Avian Extinction

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During the testing of 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah, Nevada, 130 birds were caught by fire mid-air. As per the experts glow of the farm’s tower might have been the reason that have led to the attraction for the birds, however, the owners of the project said that they would devise a way of reducing such fatalities in the future.

The solar project, SolarReserve, is all set to go for its launch by next month. About thousands of mirrors pivot sunlight on one main tower for thawing salt within it. The melting process would further heat water so that the steam could move turbines for producing electricity.

Ideally, the project can generate 110 megawatts of electricity that is expected to be sold to NV Energy, a firm that delivers electricity to nearly all residential areas in Nevada.

During the test operation, only a third of the project’s 10,000 mirrors were aimed at focal point 1,200 feet above ground level, which was twice the size of the tower. Within the subsequent 90 minutes, experts noticed some birds that caught fire and left trail of smoke in the air as soon as they crossed the threshold of the solar array part. As per the experts, the birds’ casualties touched 130. However, in the next test, lesser number of mirrors were used for focusing above the tower. This resulted in relatively fewer avian casualties.

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Deaths are alarming

This is not the first case of birds’ casualties being reported. As per last year’s report, California’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System alone accounted for tens of thousands of birds’ death due to scorching heat of sunbeams. The ratio states that for every two minutes, one bird is burnt to death.

BrightSource Energy, Mojave Desert based solar farm accounts for 1,000 to 28,000 birds’ casualties.

The death are disturbing, going green at the sake of damaging the environment is not an intelligent step. Therefore, before operating any solar projects, the authorities need to check with the migratory seasons so that the solar farm owners can have some control over the death of the flying creatures. Else, very soon, we would be experiencing the extinction of these birds all because of our technology driven activities.

Source: [Rewire] & [E&E Publishing]

About Pooja Kashyap

A CPD certified Fitness Trainer, Pooja also likes to spend time reading and blogging the latest research and discoveries in science and how technology is shaping the world. Besides writing, she enjoys reviewing books and taking interviews of creative/innovative people. Currently, she is located in Noida, India, where she actively participates in marathons as well. She is also on Quora l Twitter and LinkedIn.