The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Project is a solar farm sprawling over five square miles with three towers as tall as a 40-story building. Each tower is surrounded by mirrors that are about ten feet by ten feet in size and total 350 thousand. Sunlight is reflected onto the towers that contain boilers. The boiling water creates steam and that steam turns the generators that make electricity. This project of great expectations has a 2.2 billion dollar price tag and 1.6 billion in federal loan guarantee. Our environment, plant owners and tax payers are heavily invested, but all systems were GO before Nature appeared to become a casualty. Very disconcerting events began at the start of test runs...
Hope may yet exist for protecting the birds that would otherwise be killed due to the air temperature reaching 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit by the Ivanpah solar project.
As an energy consultant, one of my clients was Macy's department stores and some of the new energy saving sodium light fixtures were mounted on outside walls. In some cases, many birds would land on these fixtures, thus causing their droppings to fall on people walking below. One solution implemented was a speaker that gave off a sound in a pitch that only birds could hear. Birds stayed clear of the area to avoid hearing the sound broadcasted. As far as I know, the inexpensive system is still working fine to this day.
Though I don't have all the data, I believe a full evaluation will behoove the owners of this project greatly. NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy Inc., can easily put up test speakers around the perimeter and mount speakers at various heights all the way up the 40 story tall towers. The equipment has specs to show the distribution of the sound waves so calculations can be done to "fence off" the area. The electric power to operate the system would not be that significant and obviously the owners will tap right into their own production.
I believe that we can always find solutions because there is always another way of doing something. Producing innovative energy while protecting all God's creatures is possible when all humans participate, communicate and innovate together.
Bill Lauto, GTG