Thanks for reading my inaugural blog post. After 25-plus years in the environmental business, I was wondering if anyone has thoughts similar to, or contrary to, my own. I would appreciate your feedback. Let me know if the items and opinions featured in these notes are interesting to you by commenting below.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that regulators are having second thoughts after approving a solar project because it seems that the so-called “tower-and-mirror solar technology” is killing birds.
The report notes that a $2.2 billion solar farm, which spans over five square miles of federal land southwest of Las Vegas, includes three towers, and 350,000 mirrors that reflect sunlight onto boilers atop the towers, creating steam that drives power generators. The only problem is that the project is killing birds. The dead birds reportedly include a peregrine falcon, a grebe, two hawks, four nighthawks and a variety of warblers and sparrows.
According to Eric Davis (a Federal wildlife official), as quoted in the Wall Street Journal, “We’re trying to figure out how big the problem is and what we can do to minimize bird mortalities. When you have new technologies, you don’t know what the impacts are going to be.”
About the Author
Gerald L. Kirkpatrick, P.G. is a Principal Geoscientist and the Managing Partner of Environmental Standards, Inc. Mr. Kirkpatrick has more than 30 years of applied environmental geoscience experience in both private industry and environmental consulting. Outside of work, Gerry enjoys fishing and an occasional single malt. A very poor chess player, he remains dedicated to the game, nonetheless.