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USGS releases bird and insect incineration footage from Ivanpah Solar Electric Facility

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) released the following footage showing flying birds and insects incinerated by the intense heat near the solar towers of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Facility.

Though USGS claims that “fewer than 15 birds were observed being impacted by the solar flux in more than 700 hours of video”, USGS curiously states, “we are uncertain of the origin of dark trails following the birds.” USGS also fails to quantify what percentage of the 700 hours of footage is duplicative (multiple cameras were utilized) or is of the solar flux when in actually operation (i.e. daytime vs. nighttime — much of the surveillance was nighttime thermal and infrared imaging of birds and bats).

A recent study found Ivanpah killed 6,185 birds in 2015, including about 1,145 that were burned up in the plant’s solar flux. Ivanpah has also been known to blind airline pilots flying over Southern California’s desert.

 

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