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Where are the Videos of Birds Combusting Inflight Over CSP Plants – Streamers?

September 1, 2014

daffy-duck-128311In “‘Streamers’: Birds Fried in Midair by Solar Plant, Feds Say,” NBC News reported on Aug 18, 2014, “Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year reported an average of one “streamer” every two minutes. They’re urging California officials to halt the operator’s application to build a still-bigger version until the extent of the deaths is assessed. Annual estimates range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.”

A perfunctory search on the net and YouTube resulted in few hits depicting this phenomenon. “Solar Farm Killer Death Rays Torching Birds” on YouTube showed essentially nothing, and ditto with “Evidence Suggests World’s Largest Solar Farm Burns Birds That Fly over It.”

In today’s world of instantaneous global media coverage of almost everything, the scanty coverage of in-flight streaming is somewhat strange, especially when it is claimed to be rather frequent. Would be nice to see hard evidence!

Need reliable data to understand the problem, its magnitude, proposed methods to ameliorate the problem and cost justification followed by implementation and field performance.

The airline industry addressed the issue when human life was at stake. Yet with all that has been done at airports to minimize the problem, bird strikes still occur, see FAA Wildlife Strike Database . For example, from Jan 1, 2014 to August 31, 2014, the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport alone reported 66 instances of animal strikes (65 birds and 1 stripped skunk) with no apparent damage to the aircraft.

Also, it would be helpful to review the environmental impact study conducted on the sites in question to see, if and to what extent, “streaming” was covered.

In closing, it is not a question of shutting down operating CSP plants and stopping their development, should a real problem exist, but how to reasonably manage the risk.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter Thomson permalink
    September 1, 2014 12:21 PM

    This issue was discussed in a recent edition of New Scientist magazine. According to the article, the actual number of bird kills since the plant started operating is around 142 across a broad range of species, and Brightsource is investigating ways of reducing this.

  2. September 1, 2014 1:23 PM

    Peter,
    Many thanks, will take a look. However, would like to see a video> I could not find a video showing birds streaming to earh. In fact, few still photographs too.
    Barry

  3. September 17, 2014 8:29 AM

    Brings back memories of Altamont Pass, the battle cry for anti-wind factions. If it is happening, you would not only want physical evidence, but a broader discussion on planning and policies. Anything less is an indication of a political game played by industries which compete with renewables.

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