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News Picks : Solar thermal plants posing risk for birds

By: Physics Today
18 August 2014

Christian Science Monitor: Federal wildlife investigators say that as many as 28 000 birds are being killed every year at the BrightSource Energy plant located in the Mojave Desert. The birds get burned by the intense heat from the 300 000 garage-door-sized mirrors that reflect the Sun’s rays onto three 40-story-high boiler towers. Although the US Fish and Wildlife Service has said that such power towers are the most lethal type of construction for wildlife, BrightSource is proposing to build another mirror field and a 75-story tower near the California–Arizona border. As the California Energy Commission considers the proposal, BrightSource is exploring the use of lights, sounds, or other means to divert the birds away from its plants.


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