Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from California

An energy bill that's bad for marine mammals and most everything else on the planet

A third problem is the bill’s requirement that the federal government sell wind leases off the California coast within a year of enactment. While wind farms can be a good source of renewable energy, they are just starting to be sited in the ocean — with none yet off the coast of California. Wind farms should not be arbitrarily rushed into existence, as this bill would do.
24 Nov 2017

Feds OK huge, controversial solar project near Mojave preserve

That Environmental Impact Statement assumed that Bechtel would be able to use existing transmission lines on the site to get power from Soda Mountain to Los Angeles. But those transmission lines belong to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which announced in June — the same week as the Soda Mountain EIS was released — that it wouldn't be buying power from the project. LADWP said that the project would be too environmentally destructive to justify their becoming a customer. ...And without that transmission, it's unlikely the project will ever obtain a contract with a utility to sell its power.
6 Apr 2016

Desert energy plan could 'dramatically limit' California wind growth

The first phase identifies national conservation lands and designates areas of critical environmental concern, wildlife allocations, and national scenic and historic trail management corridors to conserve biological, cultural and other values. Furthermore, the DOI says special recreation management areas and extensive recreation management areas are identified to recognize and promote recreational opportunities and public access. Thus, these lands would be closed to renewable energy and benefit from adaptive management in the face of climate change, the agency explains.
11 Nov 2015

Green energy’s dirty secret: Industrial solar and wind endanger wildlife but are getting more support than ever

Even on paper, it was a wonder: Three expansive circles of shining mirrors supplicating three glowing 500-foot-tall towers, each engineered to turn the sun’s heat into electricity in the otherwise godforsaken Mojave Desert. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System offered a sparkling vision of our nature-powered future, whose every gigawatt would keep tons of coal’s heat-trapping pollutants out of the atmosphere. BrightSource Inc., a company based in Oakland, California, would design it; construction giant Bechtel would build it on 4,000 acres near the California-Nevada border. It would supply clean electricity to 140,000 homes.
26 Oct 2015

BLM Mojave Desert solar decision rankles environmentalists

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Friday it had eliminated a quarter of the proposed Soda Mountain Solar project but will allow most of its construction on nearly 2,000 acres near Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. ...The project is in an area where such development would be prohibited under the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. 
5 Jun 2015

BLM rejects application for Silurian Valley energy project

The Bureau of Land Management on Thursday denied a Spanish company's application to build a controversial renewable energy facility in the Mojave Desert's remote Silurian Valley, deciding the sprawling project “would not be in the public interest.” ...Among the specific concerns the BLM noted were that the facility would disrupt migration corridors critical to bighorn sheep and other wildlife.
21 Nov 2014

Desert renewable energy conservation plan released

While the plan covers all renewable energy development. ...The plan's preferred alternative does not, however, create new zones for wind development in either Riverside or Imperial County, with few areas opened to wind overall. Nancy Rader — executive director of the California Wind Energy Association — said in a statement the industry's "worst fears are being realized."
3 Oct 2014

Pity the poor streamers

Wind turbine blades rip through federally protected golden and bald eagles and other raptors, but rather than fine the industry, the Obama administration quietly expanded their permits. Meanwhile, in Alaska, the Interior Department prohibited a remote fishing village from building a gravel road, saying it would affect eelgrass that serves as a way-stop meal for migratory birds.
30 Aug 2014

Study: It's possible to power all of California with clean energy, but...

A new study claims that California could power itself entirely with wind, water, solar, and geothermal energy by 2050, ...The catch is that California would need to build miles utility-scale solar power plants and wind turbines covering 3,426 square miles of the state  with offshore wind installations covering an additional 1,406 square miles of the Pacific Ocean.
9 Aug 2014

California opens world's largest solar power farm - as evidence emerges that it leaves birds who fly over 'scorched'

The system produces power by reflecting line from more than 300,000 giant mirrors onto three water towers. The sunlight hitting the towers can create temperatures of up to 1,000F (530C), producing steam which then drives generator turbines. Yet this process also creates an extremely hot “thermal flux” around the tower. ...birds found on the site in November last year were likely killed by “scorching”.
16 Feb 2014

The $2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project Produces Heat and Electricity—And Kills Wildlife

BrightSource wants to build a second tower-based solar farm in California's Riverside County, east of Palm Springs. But the state Energy Commission in December proposed that the company instead use more conventional technologies, such as solar panels or mirrored troughs. One reason: the BrightSource system appears to be scorching birds that fly through the intense heat surrounding the towers, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
12 Feb 2014

The death blow for Palen? California rejects BrightSource Energy’s Palen plans

“The committee finds that the amended project will also result in significant and unmitigable impacts to biological resources due to the risk of solar flux on avian species. The committee recommends denying the project amendment at this time, finding that the totality of the project impacts outweighs the totality of the project benefits.”
16 Dec 2013

Windmill farm seeks permit to kill eagles

The report, which will now go through a 45-day public comment period, analyzed four alternatives, including the possibility of denying the permit application. In addition to retrofitting the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power poles, Shiloh, which is an affiliate of EDF Renewable Development, has agreed to use audio or visual deterrence measures to scare away eagles, migratory birds and bats.
27 Sep 2013

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=California&topic=Impact+on+Wildlife&type=Article
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