ODD NEWS: Is Giant Solar Farm Hazardous To Birds? - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

ODD NEWS: Is Giant Solar Farm Hazardous To Birds?

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(CBS) - Thousands of birds are flying into a solar death trap. It's happening at the massive Ivanpah Solar Plant in the middle of California's Mojave desert. The problem is this clean energy plant is cooking an alarming number of birds.

It started out so well...

"A company called Brightsource plans to break ground on a revolutionary type of power plant..."

"You should have seen it. It was amazing."

Two presidents talking it up. A bright future as seen by the operator...

"In fact, this is the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world," said Tom Doyle of NRG.

But there's a dark cloud now hanging over the Brightsource...which is based in Oakland.

Garrison Frost of Audubon-California explains, "Birds bursting into flames, having their feathers singed, by the intense heat generated at that solar plant."

800 degrees. Birds bursting into flames. Igniting in mid air. Upwards of 28,000 since the plant opened in March. 300,000 mirrors hitting water filled boilers making steam. They're being called streamers...after the poof of smoke produced by the igniting birds.

"One heartbreak after another." Conservationist David Lamfrom adds, "They built this in one of the most important places in the country."

It's a habitat for the desert tortoise and Brightsource says it spent $22 million to help save them. But apperently they didn't see this massive problem with birds. The company didn't return our calls and emails.

"There are all sorts of solar energy plants out there that don't make birds burst into flames in the air."

But more of Brightsource's evolutionary plants are planned and the Audubon Society says until these problems are fixed plans should be on hold. It's a tough call for environmentalists... They are a powerful powerhouse of clean energy...Ivanpoh can generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes...some of them in the Bay area.

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