New Business Opportunity: Lolo's Eagle and Waffles Next to Large Solar Plants

From ReWire via Anthony Watts

A test of a solar power tower project in Nevada resulted in injuries to over one hundred birds, the federal government is reporting, though the project's owners say they've fixed the problem.

On January 14, during tests of the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah, Nevada, biologists observed 130 birds entering an area of concentrated solar energy and catching fire. That's according to Rudy Evenson, Deputy Chief of Communications for Nevada Bureau of Land Management in Reno.

Evenson suggested that the birds may have been attracted by a glow the concentrated solar energy created above the project's sole tower.


According to Evenson, workers testing the plant moved approximately a third of the project's ten thousand mirrors to focus sunlight on a point 1,200 feet above the ground, approximately twice the height of the power tower at Crescent Dunes.

The test started at 9:00 a.m. on January 14, Evenson told Rewire. By 10:30, biologists working on the site began noticing what have become known as "streamers," trails of smoke and water vapor caused by birds entering the field of concentrated solar energy (a.k.a. "solar flux") and igniting.

By the time the test ended for the day at 3:00 p.m., biologists had counted 130 such "streamers." A subsequent test on January 15 reduced the number of mirrors aimed at the focal point above the tower, said Evenson, and that apparently ended the injuries to birds.

Oops.  It is amazing how solar gets a pass on things that other industries would be hounded into bankruptcy over.  ExxonMobil was fined by the Feds for 85 bird deaths at the company's natural gas facilities.  These deaths were spread out over 5 states and over 5 years.  This solar plant killed at least 130 birds in one location in 6 hours.  ExxonMobil was fined $7000 per dead bird.  Anyone want to bet on what the solar guys will be fined?  Vegas has set the over-under at zero.


  1. mogden:

    The intentions of everyone concerned are pure, so free pass.

  2. Matthew Slyfield:

    1. Buy up the land surrounding a solar thermal plant.
    2. Build a hot dog stand next to the solar thermal plant.
    3. Build a machine to cook hot dogs by flinging them through the beam of concentrated solar light and catching them on the other side.
    4. $$$$ profit.

  3. Nimrod:

    In the great battle for ecological justice, who cares about a few birds being cooked alive in flight? Quick! Destroy the evidence! FOR GREAT JUSTICE!!!

  4. irandom419:

    Asymmetry under the law, isn't it grand.

  5. ano333:

    They need to put one of these things in NYC to clean up the pigeon problem...

  6. CapnRusty:

    Put up the video. Flaming eagles! Might go viral.

  7. Xoph:

    Its a self correcting problem. After a while most birds in the area will be gone. I suggest a KFC franchise.

    Also, if some mirrors are used to create a decoy, you've reduced your efficiency.

    What about safety issues for the human workers?

  8. marque2:

    1: You could attract the birds to a batter tower, before they pass the solar tower,
    2:fried chicken,
    3: $$$$ Profit

  9. marque2:

    Humans don't fly. 'Cept some folks in Washington and Colorado.

  10. Matthew Slyfield:

    1. Chickens can't fly that high.
    2. Fried Eagle
    3. Jail not $$$$$