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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

Soulskill posted about a month and a half ago | from the free-hot-wings dept.

Power 521

Elledan writes: Federal investigators in California have requested that BrightSource — owner of thermal solar plants — halt the construction of more (and bigger) plants until their impact on wildlife has been further investigated. "Unlike many other solar plants, the Ivanpah plant does not generate energy using photovoltaic solar panels. Instead, it has more than 300,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door. Together, they cover 1,416 hectares. Each mirror collects and reflects solar rays, focusing and concentrating solar energy from their entire surfaces upward onto three boiler towers, each looming up to 40 stories high. The solar energy heats the water inside the towers to produce steam, which turns turbines that generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes." The concentrated solar energy chars and incinerates the feathers of passing birds. BrightSource estimates about a thousand bird die this way every year, but an environmental group claims the real number is much higher.

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god dammit. (5, Insightful)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about a month and a half ago | (#47709951)

Number of birds killed by oil spills?
Number of birds killed by air pollution?

Thanks California. Human impact of using coal fired plants? Nope, think of the children has been replaced by "think of the birds".

Re:god dammit. (5, Informative)

itzdandy (183397) | about a month and a half ago | (#47709967)

~3 birds each day seems like a lot of KFC for a power plant....

anyway, seems like the environmental impact is quite less than mining of coal etc etc, and more easily solved....audible chirps, clicks, etc to scare the birds away? Or maybe a little metal eagle or hawk statue on the roof..

Re:god dammit. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47709997)

It's always something with environmentalists.

Though I suspect oil/coal shills here.

Re:god dammit. (-1, Troll)

Ruedii (2712279) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710053)

Check the person's comment and post record. The guy's a Nuclear energy shill.

Re:god dammit. (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710265)

Wait a second.. are you implying that i'm a nuclear shill?

Re:god dammit. (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710301)

I thought the implication was that http://slashdot.org/~itzdandy [slashdot.org] is a nuke shill.

Re:god dammit. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710001)

Or even: "BrightSource also is offering $1.8 million in compensation for anticipated bird deaths at Palen, Desmond said. The company is proposing the money for programs such as those to spay and neuter domestic cats, which a government study found kill over 1.4 billion birds a year."

Re:god dammit. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710049)

Yes, but those eco-nazis are all cat ladies, they don't care that cats kill billions of birds

Re:god dammit. (5, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710281)

Decreasing the number of birds killed in high population areas does not compensate for killing birds in a low population desert area. For example, raptors are attracted and killed because prey birds are attracted to the bugs which are attracted to the light. Very few raptors are killed by cats. Raptors are much more endangered than the song birds generally killed by cats. All birds are not equal.

Re:god dammit. (3, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710025)

FWIW, windmills and skyscrapers kill a lot of birds too.

And automobiles, for that matter.

Re:god dammit. (4, Interesting)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710203)

But think of the jet engines!

Also, according to his study, windmills 'save' birds, because they replace other, more harmful ways to generate electricity.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/201... [reneweconomy.com.au]

Re:god dammit. (4, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710251)

FWIW, windmills and skyscrapers kill a lot of birds too.

Lots of things kill birds, and actually wind turbines are pretty low on the scale. Even nuclear plants kill more by some estimates:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org]

Re:god dammit. (3, Funny)

Solandri (704621) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710613)

Hawks and other raptors kill lots of birds too. So if you really want to stop the carnage, you should kill them too.

Re:god dammit. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710643)

I find that hard to believe - very few automobiles get killed by skyscrapers in my experience.

Re:god dammit. (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710713)

The number of birds killed by windmills is actually quite low: apparently the woosh-woosh sound of the blades cutting through the wind is enough to scare most birds away.

Re:god dammit. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710073)

Add KFC next to solar powerplant... problem fixed!

Re:god dammit. (2)

Barsteward (969998) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710205)

chickens can't fly that high

Re:god dammit. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710231)

That's what the catapults are for.

Re:god dammit. (1)

DarkTempes (822722) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710105)

Or worst case scenario they could set up some sort of bird house program (away from the site) to encourage breeding to offset the numbers lost.

Re:god dammit. (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710119)

How about just building these things out in the deserts?

Re:god dammit. (2)

Daemonik (171801) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710121)

House cats kill more birds than this. It's all relative.

Re:god dammit. (5, Informative)

wallsg (58203) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710201)

I think it's funny that BrightSource's bird kill numbers are being trusted when they say 1,000 per year. This story [abc22now.com] says that "federal wildlife investigators" are estimating one "streamer" every two minutes on average. That would be 240 per day assuming 8 hours of operation. The Center for Biological Diversity estimates 28,000 per year. That's only about 76 per day.

The Exxon Valdez spill killed (from my quick search) an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 birds, about what this would kill in 10 years or so at mid-20k birds killed per year. So, build 10 of these plants (or larger with even more roasting capacity) and you have the equivalent (in bird deaths) of an Exxon Valdez oil spill each year. A wise sage once said "It's not easy being green."

If this were a coal or oil source quoting bird kills, would people be so willing to accept their numbers at face value? BrightSource is wanting to build a much larger plant right in a migratory corridor. They have a strong incentive to lie about the numbers.

Also, if you want to compare birds killed here to birds killed by "dirty" energy, scale this ONE complex's Kill per Megawatt up from its (planned) capacity of 392 MW to that of what you're comparing to. Assuming that the plant generates power 8 hours per day year round at 100%, you get about 3.2 GWh of electricity. A search found that for 2010 in the US coal power production was a bit larger than that at 1,994,000 GWh. So, multiply the bird kills by over 600,000 (1,994,000 / 3.2) and you can now compare the kills scaled for power generated. That would be scaling to over 600 million birds by BrightSource numbers and about 17 billion by the environmental group's numbers. The "federal wildlife investigator's" numbers would yield somewhere around 53 billion. I wonder how much coal could be saved by just burning 53 billion birds each year instead...

Don't forget to add in the tortoise habit that was damaged to build this too. I'm trying to think of the name of the thin, extremely fragile layer of crust on undisturbed desert ground that environmental groups want to shut down land so people won't walk on it. (It isn't Desert Varnish. That's what's on rocks.) It takes forever for it to recover. All gone on that six-and-a-quarter square mile site.

But on the bright side, ha ha, at least the owls are safe.

Re:god dammit. (3, Informative)

wallsg (58203) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710227)

Oops. Math error. Divide all of my numbers by 365.

So only about 1.5 to 2 million birds (BrightSource) to 46 million (green group) to 145 million (government).

Re:god dammit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710553)

Oops. Math error. Divide all of my numbers by 1.

Done!

Re:god dammit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710233)

~3 birds each day seems like a lot of KFC for a power plant....

Well, it's probably more birds/day than what KFC actually uses in their food.

Re:god dammit. (1)

lkernan (561783) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710507)

~3 birds each day seems like a lot of KFC for a power plant....

And yet not a drop in the KFC bucket.

Re:god dammit. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710607)

"~3 birds each day seems like a lot of KFC for a power plant...."

Indeed, it's about what my cat does damage in 4-5 hours.

Re:god dammit. (1)

johnjones (14274) | about a month and a half ago | (#47709993)

had the same thought...

  what about Airports ?

deploy the same methods they do chirps/sounds and eagle surly someone thought of that and suggested it already ???

personally I see this as far better method to generate electricity than polluting photoelectric cells... they deserve a congratulations !

 

Re:god dammit. (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710027)

Thanks California.

Don't blame California. The idiots complaining about this are from the federal government.

Re:god dammit. The Numbers (5, Insightful)

saskboy (600063) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710057)

Crunching the numbers, it's foolish to delay solar power adoption for even 28K birds a year.

Climate change is expected to soon kill off 1/8th of all bird species.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/... [www.cbc.ca]

200M birds die from cats each year in Canada ( which has the human population of California).
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politic... [www.cbc.ca]

Either stop climate change pollution, or kiss some birds goodbye (peck on the cheek).

Re:god dammit. The Numbers (2, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710127)

I'll buy your number for cats - there are hundreds of millions of them, and they love to hunt birds. A power plant that kills a few thousand is completely irrelevant in comparison, but these are clueless "progressive" types, they aren't expected to understand basic math.

I'll pass on the latest climate change panic...

Re:god dammit. The Numbers (1)

N1AK (864906) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710521)

Crunching the numbers, it's foolish to delay solar power adoption for even 28K birds a year.

That's 28,000 birds for this current, small, solar installation: 0.4GWh, when the US uses tends of thousands of GWh. Scale it up to just 1% of US power generation and you'll be talking about millions of birds a year. It may well be that it is the least harmful way of generating electricity, but just saying cats kill more (which is an issue in itself!) doesn't make it unimportant. Personally I think it's very important that the truth comes out on what the figure is, and if the companies figures are false they get fucked for it. If it really is 1,000 birds a year then it's probably an unfortunate, but better than the alternatives, consequence of greener energy.

Re:god dammit. The Numbers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710591)

But cats killing birds is natural man... Nature is OK if it does it onto itself, just like black people are OK when they call each other nigger. It's when we, unnatural humans (or white people), do it that it's not OK.

Data. (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710085)

http://dailydeadbirds.com/ [dailydeadbirds.com]

According to their notes, 6,147 dead birds over the course of a year after the BP spill.

The low estimate is ivanpah is killing 1000 birds per year, upwards of 28,000 birds per year.

Re:god dammit. (-1)

jez9999 (618189) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710391)

Number of birds OR humans killed by nuclear power? More like "thanks you ignorant greenies", who are ironically the ones probably complaining about this solar plant.

Re:god dammit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710455)

No Keep thinking of the children, are you thinking about them now?, no really are you thinking about them RIGHT NOW?!, go answer the door already.

Re:god dammit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710469)

Let's see how this actually turns out. However, it does remind me of the near-ubiquitous CA signs warning of toxins on premises when I lived there a few years ago. The commonness of the signs resulted in no one ever giving a shit about their presence, since if you avoided places with them then you pretty much couldn't go anywhere. You couldn't even leave the apparently hazardous state if you wanted to avoid the signs, since of course airports and gas stations always had them.

You're an idiot... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710549)

"Human impact of using coal fired plants?"

Nothing. Zero.

And a hell of a lot less than the human impact of billions of poor people burning wood inside their homes, breathing in the fumes.

There is no such thing as 'catastrophic man-made global warming', but I presume from your comment "Human impact of using coal fired plants" that you believe there is.

www.climatedepot.com

Those poor birds, burnt to death in the middle of the sky, for no good reason.

Re: god dammit. (1)

andy_spoo (2653245) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710717)

Completely agree with you. If coal power and gas power keeps going, the CO2 and temperature change is going to kill a lot more birds..... and just about everything else on the planet. Makes you wonder how many dodgy handshakes and stuffed envelopes get exchanged in the background

Chicken (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | about a month and a half ago | (#47709957)

The concentrated solar energy chars and incinerates the feathers of passing birds. BrightSource estimates about a thousand bird die this way every year...

Probably doesn't taste like chicken though as chickens can't fly.

Re:Chicken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47709981)

Chicken tastes like everything.

Re:Chicken (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710071)

Probably doesn't taste like chicken though as chickens can't fly.

Like sheep, they don't fly so much as plummet.

(Actually, chickens can sort of fake it enough to get out of uncovered pens on occasion)

Re:Chicken (2, Interesting)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710109)

Actually, chickens can fly - just not particularly long distances:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

I believe the technical term is "spurt flying".

Re:Chicken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710305)

I believe the technical term is "spurt flying".

Also the coded warning my girlfriend makes me give her.

Hmmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47709961)

Solar fried chicken.....hmmmmm...gurgle......drool

Life imitates video games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47709973)

Seriously, wasn't Helios One [wikia.com] powered by targeting mirrors and built by Ivanpah? As I recall from the end that quest, had any birds been alive they would've been in for one hell of a scare when the plant was activated.

So...does this mean the bird thing is just a cover-up while the government installs a secret weapon in there?

Slaver sunflowers (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47709979)

I was excited for a moment. I thought someone had made slaver sunflowers :). http://larryniven.wikia.com/wiki/Slaver_Sunflower

Video or it didn't happen (3, Interesting)

Nyder (754090) | about a month and a half ago | (#47709989)

No seriously, I'd love to see a video of this.

Very interesting problem, wonder how it can be solved?

Re:Video or it didn't happen (2)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710013)

We have those ultrasound acoustic weapons - highly directional noise projectors. Presumably the volume of wildlife isn't very high, so you could watch the sky with a camera and then direct some sound which they treat as "fly away from" at any birds which crossed over a safe zone. Most nearby wildlife would quickly figure out where not to go.

That's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47709991)

That's metal.

Hydroelectric Dams (4, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710003)

Mortality rate of fish through the turbine is close to 10%
 
Except fish are slimy, scaly and make weird mouth shapes when you pull them out of the water to look at them. They look pretty awkward.
 
Birds on the other hand, are beautiful creatures flying through the air, truly, beautiful, feathered friends, God's own creations.
 
But if 3 birds die in a 3500 acre site per day, heaven help us all for destroying nature. I can go out in my back yard and shake the six to eight trees on my half-acre and watch at least four birds fly out.

Re:Hydroelectric Dams (5, Funny)

Hadlock (143607) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710035)

Three humans die each day due to obesity-related health reasons within 3500 of the McDonalds by my house. They say humans are attracted to the site by the brightly-lit golden arches which some say is a food source for the species.

Re:Hydroelectric Dams (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710213)

Also count lethal traffic accidents caused by or suffered by people lured to that golden arch.

Re:Hydroelectric Dams (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710363)

Some say that he knows two facts about ducks and both of them are wrong.

Re: Hydroelectric Dams (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710445)

...all we know is he's called the Stig!

Re:Hydroelectric Dams (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710291)

Except fish are slimy, scaly and make weird mouth shapes when you pull them out of the water to look at them.

They're sea kittens! [peta.org]

Re:Hydroelectric Dams (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710543)

I'm sure people said similar things about passenger pidgeons, and buffalo I mean who cares about them right their flocks and herds are so large that you can sit for hours waiting for every last one to pass, we could never possible wipe out such large amounts so just exploit away!

Human ignorance of the amount of damage we can actually do to a species on Slashdot is astounding, especially as it's meant to be a science oriented site.

Here's a thought - why don't we try and minimise loss of animals to solar and hydro, and every other power source if we want to maintain the very ecosystems that feed us and keep us alive long term? Why does it have to be "Oh but more die from this so we shouldn't care about that!", is it really so hard to understand that biodiversity loss is a bad thing whatever it is?

It depends what birds die as much as anything also, 3 a day might not seem like a big deal but if it's the entire population of a keystone species in a particular area across the year then that's actually a really big deal.

It's hard to describe quite how boneheaded the argument that there are plenty of birds in your garden, thus the death of other birds in a completely different place is no big deal is. I mean, did you not even do basic biology at school or what? If a plant is destroying the already dwindling populations of Californian condors then those fucking pidgeons at the end of your garden aren't magically going to morph into some replacement condors and fly to California over night to act as replacements.

Green (0)

wallsg (58203) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710005)

But it's Green! It MUST be good!

I read another story that said that only minutes passed between "streamers".

I can't look at a picture of this plant without thinking "Helios One"...

Cut out the middle man! (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710009)

Why not skip all the expensive equipment and just use birds for fuel?

Re:Cut out the middle man! (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710535)

I don't have mod points right now so I have to thank you unanonymously for making me laugh.

Simple solution: (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710015)

...build a KFC nearby

Re:Simple solution: (1)

alantus (882150) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710051)

...and kill two birds with a single... 300,000 mirror array?!

Re:Simple solution: (0)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710063)

...or build a power plant near each KFC

--
"Götze" by the way

So your solution is ... (1)

Jumunquo (2988827) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710065)

to kill them before the power plant does?

Re:So your solution is ... (1)

maroberts (15852) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710541)

to kill them before the power plant does?

Not at all - the solution is to kill and cook them in one simple process instead of the dual process that we have currently.

Estimates (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710037)

From the article;

Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

A thousand is not much of an issue but 28,000 could be. Both are estimates and it should be looked into.

Re:Estimates (2)

saskboy (600063) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710077)

Looked into, but not freaked out about. Cats kill hundreds of millions of birds each year. 200M die in Canada alone.
200,000,000
vs.
28,000?

It's not even close. Delaying a switch to solar is much more deadly for birds, as it's expected 1/8th of species will soon (within decades) become extinct due to climate change.

Re:Estimates (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710245)

I question the logic a bit.
1. We are talking about the desert where birds are more scarce that forested areas.
2. This is only one plant. What happens when there are 100 or 1,000 such plants?
3. Just because there are worse problem does not mean that we should ignore lesser problem.

Re:Estimates (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710309)

Just because there are lesser problems does not mean we should ignore the worse problems. Like the problems caused by a reliance on non-renewable energy.

Can they just ... (2)

Jumunquo (2988827) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710093)

...set up some streaming cameras. I'm sure the nerds on the Internet will write something to count them.

Or are they afraid the videos will go viral. WATCH BIRDS GET ROASTED OMG WTF LOL!!!!

Judge Finds BLADE RUNNER Guilty of Murder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710045)

Revenge of the replicants.

Yeah, but... (2, Informative)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710069)

...aren't birds renewable resources too? :) ...and desert tortoises? :)

Frankly, the bigger problem is the possible impact to airplanes: http://energy.sandia.gov/?p=19... [sandia.gov]

You scale this stuff up enough, and pretty soon there isn't anywhere to fly planes safely.

LOL (2, Interesting)

Tailhook (98486) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710079)

This has been going on for months and months. I wondered how long it would take Slashdot to finally surface it.

This is Brightsource in Mohave. Feinstein et. al. held it up for years to protect turtles that were supposedly endangered.

Now it's frying birds. Certain species could be wiped out because they happen to inhabit the area.

This is the no. 1 best contemporary example of exactly why renewables will never displace more than a trivially small fraction of electric supply in the Western world; land use and its effects on ecology. Every form of wind or solar consume vast amounts of land, permanently altering the ecology of the region. Whether it's the "wind farm [that] imperils rare grass [wind-watch.org] " (no, really — rare grass) or desert birds igniting in mid-air, the same greens that demand renewables will insure its failure.

Windandsolar is a pipe dream.

Hey, mdsolar ... you there man? Why you want to kill all the birds man? Quick! Go find a scary Fukushima leak story and post it!

Go ahead, pick "troll" or whatever. I have karma for the ages.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710207)

You forgot to mention that some nations don't have so much land. Palestine, Israel, Taiwan, etc. You'd be insane to promote solar if you lived in any of those countries.

Re:LOL (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710493)

Except for example Israel is quite keen on solar power give that it is hot and sunny there to the point where they have deserts. Also not relying on hostile neighbours for fossil fuel is seen as being a "good" thing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

The suggestion is that Israel could meet all it's power generation using solar in the Negev. Heck the Tesla S almost has the range to drive from any point to any other point in the country. Given the hostile nature of it's neighbours, that they control much of the worlds oil sounds like an excellent place for electric vehicles using solar power for generation.

Re:LOL (1)

maroberts (15852) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710547)

You forgot to mention that some nations don't have so much land. Palestine, Israel, Taiwan, etc. You'd be insane to promote solar if you lived in any of those countries.

Not much land is needed - everyone has a rooftop and most of the countries you've mentioned are bright and sunny

TANSTAAFL (4, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710083)

Every kind of energy generation has a price. It's the price of civilization. Only in California could this come as a surprise...

NIMBYs? Crackpots? (5, Informative)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710101)

California has had 2-3 of these running for decades. Yes, newer ones are bigger, but even the smaller ones like the one in Coalinga can fry a bird if it flies near the focal point.

Maybe just stop building these. They are quite expensive. They are the most expensive source of electricity, bar none.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org] (sort by levelised cost).

Re:NIMBYs? Crackpots? (1)

Solandri (704621) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710633)

Solar thermal is terrible if you try to use it to make electricity. The steam turbine you need for that conversion is typically only about 33% efficient.

However, if your desired form of energy is heat, solar thermal is one of the most cost-effective energy sources. Put a small, black water tank in your backyard (or in a greenhouse if it's cold outside) and use it to feed your hot water heater, and the savings in your water heating bill will usually pay for the tank in 2-3 years.

Re:NIMBYs? Crackpots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710667)

What about batteries? I don't have sockets in the basement.

Business opportunity (2)

penguinoid (724646) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710107)

Open a new Kentucky Fried Bird! Offers only the finest organic, free-range birds, with no added hormones or antibiotics and fed only their natural diet. Guaranteed to be extra-crispy!

Yum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710111)

Delicious

Rebranding Is the Key (1)

umbrellasd (876984) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710157)

A rebrand and a restaurant license, and they are golden: BrightSource Fried Poultry and Energy.

Think about it...California won't be shutting KFC down anytime soon, and they are not kind to birds. [kentuckyfriedcruelty.com]

Random rants... Had a bad day, and it just started (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710193)

Why does shouting and crying always get everyone's attention? When you try to advice, or (god forbid) educate in a clear and rational way on the other hand, no one will listen...

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says more than 9,000 birds are reported struck annually by planes in the U.S., a figure that is rising every year. (http://wildlife.faa.gov/downloads/StrikeReport1990-2012.pdf [faa.gov] )

I am somehow thinking that the fossil fuel industry noticed that this way of generating power works a bit too well or something.

And to think that killing 2 birds with one stone is considered clever...

Back to my rock.

Icarus Beware (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710221)

... seriously I hope that there is some areal indication that this area should be avoided by any parachuters or hang glider pilots who are blown off course

Insignificant...unless you're the bird (1)

davmoo (63521) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710259)

According to Science News, anywhere from 365 million to 990 million birds die each year in the United States from crashing in to windows. Science News also reports studies that show 1.3 to 4 Billion birds die each year in the US because of cats. Compared to those numbers, power generation facility deaths are not even a blip.

Re:Insignificant...unless you're the bird (4, Interesting)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710385)

Most glazed windows are in areas of high bird populations. Birds and people like similar environments. Deserts where these plants are located have much lower bird populations and much rarer birds. Raw numbers are meaningless. It is proportion of population that matters.

Re:Insignificant...unless you're the bird (1)

N1AK (864906) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710533)

Smaller but not insignificant. If 28,000 birds are dieing to generate 0.4GWh then millions would die just to generate 1% of America's energy needs. Personally I can't understand why it's ok to own cats and negligently allow them to hunt but apparently society is fine with that, but it doesn't mean that we should ignore other issues because we're doing that wrong.

Research has been done (2)

alexibu (1071218) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710263)

There was a paper in the 80s about research done on Solar One - the first of these type of plants - I can't locate it right now.

From memory, it found most birds were killed by collision with the mirrors and only a few were killed by the concentrated radiation.

Glazed windows kill birds in the same way that mirrors do.

Hypocrits whining? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710323)

There will come a time when these 'green' people are made to stop being hypocrits - deny them energy and resources frrom the things that seem to offend them so. Off goes their electricity and heating (and air conditioning). They should now get to bicycle everywhere(that is if they can find a truely 'green' bicycle that works else they can walk). Food ditto. Clothes ditto, Every other aspect of their lives, ditto.

Let them live a life "mean brutish and short" as they advocate for others, when they arent willing to do so themselves by living by what they preach..

Yes let them cease to be hypocrits.

Drop solar heat for direct conversion (2)

advid.net (595837) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710401)

Solar to heat to mechanical to electricity as already reached its maximum efficiency.

Photovoltaic has still many recent discoveries for great efficiency improvements, and more are likely to come.

Using heat for conversion is degrading the energy to its worst and less usable form, direct conversion is the way to go. Halting those heat projects is good news.

Re:Drop solar heat for direct conversion (4, Insightful)

Dorianny (1847922) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710473)

Solar to heat to mechanical to electricity as already reached its maximum efficiency.

Photovoltaic has still many recent discoveries for great efficiency improvements, and more are likely to come.

Using heat for conversion is degrading the energy to its worst and less usable form, direct conversion is the way to go. Halting those heat projects is good news.

The big advantage heat-conversion plants have is that you can heat slow cooling material such as salt which can continue production electricity long after the sun has set, effectively turning it into a electricity storage medium. The big problem large scale use of Photovoltaic has, is that we do not have a cheap and scalable way to store generated electricity for use when needed, not just when the sun is shining.

Re:Drop solar heat for direct conversion (1)

advid.net (595837) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710621)

I know, but this may not compensate
- the lack of efficiency
- the point that we use most of electricity during day time (not at night)
- the need of fast starting alternate source like hydro or natural gas power plants for shaded days (even with molten salt solar heat which only last for the night time)

However I won't say that we can hope for a cheap and efficient electricity technology anytime soon.

The solution is simple (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710425)

Buy up some cats from a shelter and roast them too to cancel out the birds.

Pigeons (1)

louic (1841824) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710457)

Many scientific discoveries are done by accident. This is simply one of them: a new solar powered weapon against birds. They should install one in the big city squares instead of the desert to solve the problems with pigeons.

Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47710495)

I hope this simply causes birds to avoid those areas. It would also help lower bird shit on the heliostats.

Are those people shills and/or just plainly stupid?
Solar thermo electric plants are piece of the puzzle to prevent global warming. Global warming is bad for the environment. Birds are part of that environment. Most likely global warming would be bad for birds. Solar thermo electric plants are probably good for birds and those few birds aint gonna change that.

Unless they hope to convince a significant fraction of the human population to off themselves (to lower total consumption) they should not complain abut this.

Sunflowers - a plant that indeed reflect sunlight (1)

pereric (528017) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710579)

Solar plants? We got the deadly sunflowers on our planet now? They sure set birds - or anything the dislike - on fire :-)

I first read the headline word "plants" as "that kind of organism with roots and leaves", and well, if they start reflecting solar power in a co-ordinated way for self-defense like in the David Niven "Ringworld" series, it would be an interesting development.

On behalf of Archimedes... (1)

sixthousand (676886) | about a month and a half ago | (#47710655)

I find it hard to believe that nobody considered these effects on wildlife during conception of this and similar projects considering that the underlying technology has existed for over two millennia.
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