Enviro-Friendly Plant Scorching Thousands of Birds

Ad Feedback

Solar power plants are supposed to be an environmentally friendly source of energy, but one of them is actually slaughtering thousands of birds by accident.

It's happening at BrightSource Energy's state-of-the-art Ivanpah solar plant in the Mojave Desert. The plant's mirrors focus the sun's rays onto a water tower to produce steam, which turns turbines to create electricity.

But birds have been flying through those laser-like rays, getting scorched in midair in a puff of smoke.

Workers at the plant call those birds "streamers," for the trail of smoke that comes after the soaring birds ignite.

Federal wildlife investigators report an average of one death every two minutes. And an expert at the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group says up to 28,000 birds per year may be killed by this solar plant.

"We take this issue very seriously," said Jeff Holland, a spokesman for NRG Solar of Carlsbad, California, the second of three companies behind the plant.

Google, another partner on the project, declined to comment.

Wildlife officials said Ivanpah might act as a "mega-trap" for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays.

Ivanpah officials dispute the report about the "streamers," saying at least some of the puffs of smoke are insects and bits of airborne trash being ignited by the solar rays.

But wildlife officials who witnessed the phenomena say many of the clouds of smoke were too big to come from anything but a bird.

Meanwhile, the California Energy Commission is now considering an application from BrightSource to build another mirror field and a 75-story power tower between Joshua Tree National Park and the California-Arizona border.

The proposed plant is on a flight path for birds between the Colorado River and California's largest lake, the Salton Sea. Experts say that area is richer in avian life than the Ivanpah plant, with protected golden eagles and peregrine falcons and more than 100 other species of birds.

Solar tower plants are not the only green energy generators that pose a threat to wildlife. Countless birds have also been killed by windmills built to generate electricity and protect the environment simultaneously.

Some estimates say wind turbines kill up to 300,000 birds a year.

Critics say these examples are proof that environmentalists have a double standard when it comes to so-called clean energy compared to energy from fossil fuels.

CBN News has reported on one oil industry businessman who was targeted by the government when just a few birds died near one of his oil rigs. Click here for that shocking report.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.  


Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting? Are you facing a difficult situation?

Find peace with God, discover more about God or send us your prayer request.

Call The 700 Club Prayer Center at 1 (800) 823-6053, 24 hours a day.

A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.

CBN News


CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming by cable, satellite, and the Internet, 24-hours a day. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.