A New Solar Energy Hazard: Solar Glare
Solar glare is creating difficulties for birds, bats and pilots. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station located in Nevada and jointly owned by NRG Energy, Google, and BrightSource Energy uses mirrors to reflect sunlight towards a central collecting tower so that a liquid can be boiled and the steam used to power a turbine. The mirrors are good for creating heat, but they also create glare, increasing bird deaths and decreasing airplane pilot vision in the area. The airspace above the valley is usually very busy so pilots need to be able to scan the skies for other aircrafts. In order to save wildlife, dogs are being used at the plant to find carcasses of birds and bats, which will be studied to provide information for other solar projects, such as the projected Palen Solar Electric Generating System in Blythe, California. While you may have already noticed that your dog is perfect for the job, the issue of glare distractions still needs to be discussed at length for wildlife and human safety.