Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air

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IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. — A new form of solar energy is having an unwanted side effect: It makes some birds ignite in midair.

California’s energy commission is studying the issue of bird deaths at a new kind of solar plant that works with concentrated sun rays. The technology has proved unexpectedly deadly to birds at a new solar plant in the Mojave Desert. It’s owned by Google and two California energy companies.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is urging the state to hold off on permitting another plant of the same kind. It wants more study of what it says is the significant number of birds igniting and falling as they fly above the plant.

BrightSource Energy and NRG Solar say they are studying methods of reducing bird deaths.

 

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