Solar Power Poses Lower Risk to Birds Than Cats or Cars

Solar-thermal power plants in the U.S. are less likely to kill birds than automobiles, cats or communication towers, despite reports that say the facilities pose a significant threat to avian life.
 
There were 321 “avian fatalities” in the first half of this year at the 392-megawatt Ivanpah solar project in Southern California, according to a statement Aug. 19 from NRG Energy Inc. (NRG), which co-owns and operates it. Of those, 133 were scorched by heat produced by the plant.
 
That’s far fewer than reported in an Associated Press article on Aug. 18. It cited federal wildlife investigators who estimated that one bird was burned every two minutes by concentrated sunlight at the Mojave Desert power plant.
 
The estimates for birds killed by solar power are “inflated,” NRG spokesman Jeff Holland said in an interview.
 
A greater risk comes from cats, which are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of birds each year. Cars are responsible for about 60 million deaths, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and communication towers add another four million to five million. Wind turbines killed 573,000 birds in 2012.

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

DPW Solar Power Rail™

DPW Solar Power Rail™

The Power Rail™ hardware system is the professional grade choice for mounting PV Modules on residential roofs and commercial structures. Featuring revolutionary RAD™ lock-in-place hardware, grounding and pre-assembled clamps, the Power Rail mounting system offers installers both labor and time savings. What sets this mounting system apart are eight rail choices for reducing costs over a broad range of span distances. Since 1993, DPW Solar mounting systems have provided installers the right combination of innovative products, cost savings and proven solar mounting technologies.