ICYMI: After Frying Thousands Of Birds, World’s Largest Solar Farm Catches Fire

Posted: May 21, 2016 2:00 PM

Ivanpah is the world’s largest solar farm located in the Mojave Desert in California. It has been responsible for mass killings of birds since the various mirrors that surround the complex literally fry them out of the sky. Temperatures above the $2.2 billion facility are said to have registered as high as 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. In October of 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that not only has the site only generated 40 percent of the power it was supposed to generate after 15 months, it’s emitting 46,000 tons of greenhouse gas. Now, the site caught has caught fire (via Associated Press):

A small fire shut down a generating tower Thursday at the world's largest solar power plant, leaving the sprawling facility on the California-Nevada border operating at only a third of its capacity, authorities said.

Firefighters had to climb some 300 feet up a boiler tower at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California after fire was reported on an upper level around 9:30 a.m., fire officials said.

The plant works by using mirrors to focus sunlight on boilers at the top of three 459-foot towers, creating steam that drive turbines to produce electricity.

But some misaligned mirrors instead focused sunbeams on a different level of Unit 3, causing electrical cables to catch fire, San Bernardino County, California fire Capt. Mike McClintock said.

Dead birds, underperformance of power generation, and now a fire—this is the world of so-called green, renewable energy. It’s inefficient power. Period. It has yet to meet its power output projections, but have no fear, Californians—the site has been given an extension until July 31, 2016 to get their act together.