Typical.

Environmentalists have hit out at a giant new solar farm in the Mojave Desert as mounting evidence reveals birds flying through the extremely hot ‘thermal flux’ surrounding the towers are being scorched.

After years of regulatory tangles around the impact on desert wildlife, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened on Thursday but environmental groups say the nearly 350,000 gigantic mirrors are generating 1000 degree Fahrenheit temperatures which are killing and singeing birds.

According to compliance documents released by developer BrightSource Energy last year, dozens of birds were found injured at the site during the building stage.

State and federal regulators are currently conducting a two-year study of the Ivanpah plant’s effects on birds, with environmental groups questioning the the value of cleaner power when native wildlife is being killed or injured. 

[…]

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, the cost of building and operating a new solar thermal power plant over its lifetime is greater than generating natural gas, coal or nuclear power.

It costs a conventional coal plant $100, on average, to produce a megawatt-hour of power, but that figure is $261 for solar thermal power, according to 2011 estimates. 

[…]

The plant can be a startling sight for drivers heading toward Las Vegas along busy Interstate 15. Amid miles of rock and scrub, its vast array of 7-by-10-foot mirrors creates the image of an ethereal lake shimmering atop the desert floor. In fact, it’s built on a dry lakebed.

Google announced in 2011 that it would invest $168million in the project. As part of its financing, BrightSource also lined up $1.6billion in loans guaranteed by the U.S. Energy Department.

Ivanpah can be seen as a success story and a cautionary tale, highlighting the inevitable trade-offs between the need for cleaner power and the loss of fragile, open land. The California Energy Commission concluded that while the solar plant would impose ‘significant impacts on the environment … the benefits the project would provide override those impacts.’

The environmentalists go through a seemingly endless cycle of demanding things (whether wood-burning stoves, bio-diesel, windmills, or solar), only to do a complete flip-flip once they discover that the things they once demanded actually damage the environment.

Naturally, they are never held accountable.

Saving the world world means an exception from accountability.

Just ask the Communists.

(At least the latter weren’t voted into power.)