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August 19, 2014
Solar plants scorch birds in mid-air
The bird kills mark the latest instance in which the quest for clean energy sometimes has inadvertent environmental harm.
By ELLEN KNICKMEYER
A truck drives by an array of mirrors at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System near Primm, Nev. The site uses over 300,000 mirrors to focus sunlight on boilers’ tubes atop 450 foot towers heating water into steam that drives turbines to create electricity. NRG Solar of Carlsbad, California, and Google are two of the project partners.
IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. — Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.
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