Library from Nevada
Apex Clean Energy has agreed to curtail production at the proposed 200MW Searchlight wind project in south-east Nevada to protect operations at the US Navy’s China Lake base in California.
Conservationists are calling for regulatory action after the death of a second golden eagle in three years at a White Pine County wind farm that sells power to NV Energy. The body of the federally protected bird was found Feb. 9 near one of the massive turbines at the Spring Valley Wind Energy ...Operators of the wind farm reported the death to federal regulators and collected the juvenile bird’s carcass for further examination by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
A wind energy facility in eastern Nevada killed its second golden eagle in January, and environmentalists are demanding action from the federal government to prevent more eagle deaths there.
Last week, a federal district court in Nevada ruled that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) failed to adequately explain a decision to authorize a proposed wind energy project. The court remanded the decision to BLM for analysis the court determined to be absent from the administrative record and ordered the agency to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS).
In this important decision by the federal district court in Nevada, Judge Miranda M. Du found that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) did not sufficiently explain their decision to authorize the Searchlight Wind Energy Project (87 turbines) proposed on land south of Las Vegas, Nevada. The court remanded the decision to BLM for analysis and ordered the agency prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) to address new information regarding the presence of golden eagles within the project area. Concerns regarding the impact of blasting on desert tortoises were also cited. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Lame-duck Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid soon will lose control of a chamber he has helmed for eight years. As the sun sets on his reign, one question remains: will Reid, D-Nev., go out with bang or a whimper? The answer to that question could depend on what Congress decides to do about one of Reid’s favorite corporate subsidies: the wind production tax credit.
The Ivanpah solar generating plant is located in California about 50 miles from Las Vegas near the California-Nevada border. 173,000 mirrors are used to concentrate the sun on 3 boiler-towers where water is turned into steam to drive turbines and generate electricity. The mirrors track the sun and concentrate sunlight so that the intensity of light falling on the boiler-towers is about 500 times stronger than sunlight -- a death ray. If a person were to be illuminated by this death ray, 3rd degree burns would follow within a few seconds. Insects that wander into the kill zone are quickly vaporized. Birds are severely burned or killed depending on how long they are in the kill zone. An aerial view is below. Only one tower was operating when the photo was taken.
The number of bats killed by wind turbines at the Spring Valley Wind Farm in 2014 has been reduced by more than 75 percent compared to the same time frame last year.
The 152-megawatt Spring Valley Wind Energy project about 260 miles northeast of Las Vegas killed an estimated 566 bats in 2013, so its operator agreed to change when the windmills kick on in hopes of reducing the number of deaths.
In April, attorneys filed in U.S. District Court of Nevada a lawsuit (Searchlight suit) accusing former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar of acting in “a manner that is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law” when he granted permission for construction of an 87-turbine wind farm east of Searchlight on 19,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land. The suit alleges the Final Environmental Impact Statement, on which Salazar based his approval, was written by consultants for Searchlight Wind Energy, which is owned by Duke Energy. The suit says the FEIS is a one-sided and an incomplete portrait of the project’s adverse environmental impacts.
The company has not found a buyer for the wind energy but has been negotiating with NV Energy and electric companies in California. A spokesman for the company said the project would not be built until it obtains contracts for the power.
BLM's preferred alternative would take the line across the agency-managed Sunrise Mountain Instant Study Area east of Las Vegas. The 10,240-acre ISA is a popular hiking destination and includes Gypsum Cave, which BLM says holds some of the earliest evidence of human inhabitance in the western United States. Running the line though Sunrise Mountain "may entail congressional legislation modifying the designation," according to the draft EIS.
Earlier this month, attorneys filed in U.S. District Court of Nevada what we will call for the sake of brevity Bundorf v. Salazar. (Searchlight wind suit) The suit accuses former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar of acting in "a manner that is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law" when he granted permission for construction of an 87-turbine wind farm east of Searchlight on 19,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land.
Plaintiffs charge that the project, to be built by Duke Energy, would (in the words of the suit) "pose significant adverse harm to a wide array of sensitive and protected species ... including desert tortoise, golden eagles, bald eagles, and residential and migratory birds and bats... through direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts" which weren't adequately addressed.
Environmentalists and three Nevada residents are suing the Interior Department over its approval of the Searchlight Wind Energy Project, arguing the wind farm would sit in an area of the Mojave Desert that would cause widespread damage to sensitive wildlife habitat.
The 30-page complaint says that the environmental impact statement (EIS) "presents a one-sided and incomplete portrait of the proposed project and its likely adverse environmental impacts." "The Project would pose significant adverse harm to a wide array of sensitive and protected species -- including desert tortoise, bighorn sheep, golden eagles, bald eagles, and resident and migratory birds and bats -- through direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts."
The wind farm and its transmission lines "will dominate the Searchlight desert and mountains," and the turbines, "with spinning blades that reach as high as the top of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas," will ruin the area for visitors, residents and businesses, the complaint stated, as well as cause "significant harm" to an array of animals through "direct, indirect and cumulative impacts."
Environmental groups and residents of Nevada have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court of Nevada challenging the Department of the Interior's permit granting Duke Energy permission to construct an 87-turbine wind energy facility east of Searchlight on 19,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land. Excerpts of the complaint are provided below. The plaintiffs argue that Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar acted in a manner that was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to law. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
The Department of the Interior may have recently approved the Searchlight Wind Project, but those who stand to benefit most from the project are politicians and well-connected campaign donors, and not the people of Searchlight. "People from other communities told us, ‘you don't want [wind turbines],'" said Sandy Walters, chairwoman of the Searchlight Town Advisory Board. "We tried telling that to BLM and Duke Energy, too."
Recent studies and testimony by real estate appraisers from around the world indicate that properties within two to three miles of wind turbines have seen their values decline from 25 to 60 percent - with the decreased value being "tantamount to an inverse condemnation, or regulatory taking of private property rights."