The Great Solar Epic Fail of All Time?

How did I miss this story yesterday? Oh, yeah, I was on airplanes all day. Anyway, we’ve written before (more than once in fact) about the travesty of the Ivanpah solar plant in the California desert, otherwise known as the world’s largest outdoor bird fryer. It gets better:

Ivanpah Solar Plant May be Forced to Shut Down

A federally backed, $2.2 billion solar project in the California desert isn’t producing the electricity it is contractually required to deliver to PG&E Corp., which says the solar plant may be forced to shut down if it doesn’t receive a break Thursday from state regulators.

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, owned by BrightSource Energy Inc., NRG Energy Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, uses more than 170,000 mirrors mounted to the ground to reflect sunlight to 450-foot-high towers topped by boilers that heat up to create steam, which in turn is used to generate electricity.

But the unconventional solar-thermal project, financed with $1.5 billion in federal loans, has riled environmentalists by killing thousands of birds, many of which are burned to death—and has so far failed to produce the expected power.

Reminder from last week: California’s one remaining nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, produces more electricity than all of California’s solar power installations combined. Naturally environmentalists are trying to shut it down.


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