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Updated by Media Excerpts on Jun 25, 2018
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Issues - Climate Change - Solar, Wind

[4/23/15] Report: Ivanpah solar project kills 3,500 birds

(The Desert Sun) -- More than 3,500 birds died during the 377-megawatt Ivanpah solar project's first year of operation, a new report estimates. Bird deaths were known at the "power tower" project, which is located in San Bernardino County off Interstate 15 just southwest of the Nevada border.

[6/12/15] High-Tech Solar Projects Fail to Deliver

(WSJ) -- *2.2 billion California project generates 40% of expected electricity *

Some costly high-tech solar power projects aren't living up to promises their backers made about how much electricity they could generate. Solar-thermal technology, which uses mirrors to capture the sun's rays, was once heralded as the advance that would overtake old fashioned solar panel farms.

One big miscalculation was that the power plant requires far more steam to run smoothly and efficiently than originally thought, according to a document filed with the California Energy Commission. Instead of ramping up the plant each day before sunrise by burning one hour’s worth of natural gas to generate steam, Ivanpah needs more than four times that much help from fossil fuels to get the plant humming every morning.

[10/19/15] SOLAR POWER: Desert plant has pollution problem

(Press-Enterprise) -- A solar power plant at the center of the Obama administration’s push to reduce America’s carbon footprint by using millions of taxpayer dollars to promote green energy has its own carbon pollution problem.

The Ivanpah plant in the Mojave Desert uses natural gas as a supplementary fuel. Data from the California Energy Commission show that the plant burned enough natural gas in 2014 – its first year of operation – to emit more than 46,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

That’s nearly twice the pollution threshold for power plants or factories in California to be required to participate in the state’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions.

The same amount of natural gas burned at a conventional power plant would have produced enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 17,000 California homes – or roughly a quarter of the Ivanpah plant’s total electricity projection for 2014.

The U.S. Department of Energy granted Ivanpah $1.6 billion in loan guarantees. As a green-energy project, it also qualified for more than $600 million in federal tax credits.