Solar Project in NV Severly Cut Back

Discussion in 'Environment' started by westwall, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. westwall
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    westwall USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Due to the Desert Tortoise. They are endangered so all efforts are made to save them.

    MOJAVE DESERT: Tortoise finds curtail solar-site construction




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    09:03 AM PDT on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    By DAVID DANELSKI
    The Press-Enterprise


    Federal officials have told a solar developer to stop work on two-thirds of a construction site in northeast San Bernardino County because no more tortoises can be disturbed.

    Until wildlife authorities reassess the tortoise population, work on the $2.1 billion project -- hailed by the Obama administration -- is limited to a 2-square-mile area cleared of the protected reptiles last fall. BrightSource Solar's entire work site, on public land near Primm, Nev., is 5.6 square miles.

    The suspension order, made official Friday, was triggered when biologists hired to remove tortoises from the property handled their 39th animal earlier this month, said Amy Fesnock of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.


    Stan Lim / The Press-Enterprise
    The Brightsource Energy solar power site in the Ivanpah Valley. The firm still expects energy to come on line in 2013.
    A federal permit allowed for the displacement of no more than 38 desert tortoises found within the project's borders, said Fesnock, a wildlife biologist in the BLM's California office. The species is listed as threatened with extinction.

    The suspension forced crews from Bechtel, BrightSource's contractor, to stop building fences and to fill in postholes and trenches so tortoises won't fall in and get injured or trapped.

    Work cannot resume in the affected areas, known as Phase 2 and 3, until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grants permission. The agency is expected by the end of May to complete a new analysis of the BrightSource project's effect on desert tortoises, Fesnock said.

    To allow more tortoises to be displaced, the service must find that doing so does not jeopardize the survival of the species, she said.

    A BrightSource official said the setback isn't expected to be a major obstacle.

    "We don't see this as having an impact on the construction schedule and anticipate that power will come online in 2013," company spokesman Keely Wachs said in an email.

    BrightSource's plans call for three arrays of thousands of mirrors that focus sunlight on three "power towers," where steam is made to generate electricity. At peak capacity, the arrays are expected to generate enough electricity to power 140,000 homes. The project is next to Interstate 15 in the Ivanpah Valley.





    MOJAVE DESERT: Tortoise finds curtail solar-site construction | Local News | PE.com | Southern California News | News for Inland Southern California
     
  2. whitehall
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    whitehall Platinum Member

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    Enviro-nuts kept west coast farmers poor for years by finding obscure rodents and fish to protect that nobody ever heard of even though farmers used the land in productive ways. Miles of stifling stagnant solar panels that add a couple of kilowatts to the grid are worse than a junkyard eyesore.
     
  3. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    Help, Mr. Wizard!

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  4. martybegan
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    martybegan Platinum Member

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    Your hard core environmentalist often gets stuck between a rock and a hard place. its almost as if some of them believe wind and solar are zero impact overall technologies. Producing any form of power has its downsides, one of solar's downside is massive land requirements.

    I am trying to figure out how the hell tortises would be adversely affected by this. Most desert animals I know like the shade, and that would be provided in abundance.

    Going for zero animal inpact is foolishness to the extreme.
     
  5. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    I find it strange that we don't go for the huge acreage of commercial and industrial buildings. After all, the grid is already there, the need for the power is there, and most of the power would be used without the major losses that shipping that power over the grid entails.
     
  6. martybegan
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    martybegan Platinum Member

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    Because you would have to convince the owners of such land to use it for power generation. Also using up land like this in areas desireable for human occupation would probably be cost ineffective, i.e. the return you get from power generation isnt as much as you would get from other uses.

    One has to look at the land footprint of the power generation. An oil/gas/nuke plant produces more power per acre than a solar plant can, and thus can be fit in areas where property values are higher.
     
  7. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Whoa. Look at what I wrote. Ever hear of a roof? Most of them are tin. And they have thin film adhesive solar panels. This would be additional income for the owners of the buildings.
     
  8. martybegan
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    martybegan Platinum Member

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    I was more thinking you were going for razing old industrial areas and placing solar plants in thier place. wrong on my part.

    The issue with decentralized generation is more of a control one. Power generation to be as cost effective as possible likes the "one big facility" concept, where you have factors of scale helping to reduce costs and increase revenue.

    Also unless the facility has its own cogen plant for nights and clouds or has sufficent backup it has to be connected to the grid. there you need some type of power regulation to assure your energy plays nice with the power companies energy. Adding more and more of stuff like this to the same grid makes regulating the power supply trickier. I know people are working on improved controls to allow for this but I'm not sure how far they are progressing.

    Finally you get into the cost aspect. Yes, you make your own energy, but now you add maintenance costs, upkeep, and the cost of captial to install. At this point I'm not sure what is more cost effective, solar on your roof or just paying the damn power company. As the technology matures of course, costs will go down.

    Finally, you have to take into account cities are dirty places. Cleaning would be a big factor in any urban area, though you would have less abrasive issues than with a desert location.
     
  9. peach174
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    peach174 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    If the wacko environmentalists have their way we will all be in the dark, no heat in winter, no air in summer, no electricity, no transportation.
    It would be even worse than the stone ages, at least they had fire for heat. Not even that for these wackos.
     
  10. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Thank you for a thoughtful post, rather than the silly screaming that seems the norm for so many on this board.
     

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