Sunday, September 7, 2014

California solar projects, or methane projects ...

California solar projects plan undergoing major overhaul - SFGate:
... solar plants were rushed through the environmental approval process. Miles of unspoiled desert lands were scraped and bulldozed to make way for sprawling arrays of solar panels. Desert tortoises required mass relocation, and kit fox burrows were destroyed. Surprise troves of American Indian artifacts found in the Mojave Desert were moved to a San Diego warehouse, where they remain.

And once it was built, the largest solar plant of its kind in the world - the Ivanpah installation in the Mojave - began igniting birds and monarch butterflies that fly through intensely concentrated, reflected sunbeams aimed at 40-story "power towers," according to a confidential report by federal wildlife officials.

Owned by BrightSource of Oakland, with investment partners Google of Mountain View and NRG Energy of Houston, the 5.4-square-mile, $2.2 billion facility was built with a $1.6 billion federal loan and went online last fall.

...BrightSource underestimated how much natural gas it would need to run the Ivanpah plant when the sun doesn't shine. And scientists now say desert soils contain vast stores of carbon that are unleashed by construction of solar facilities.
The entire article can be read at SFGate (affiliated with the San Franscisco Chronicle).
It doesn't mention a Kennedy connection which might help explain the political push, and financing, for the Ivanpah project; if it did it would question whether "how much natural gas it would need" was underestimed, or disguised.

Brightsource's Rober F. Kennedy Jr. seemd to describe the project as a gas plant more than 4 years ago:

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