Global warming makes many countries think of alternative energy that is environmentally friendly. In addition to wind and water, the energy that is always available is the sun’s heat. But only a small number of countries use solar heat as an energy source.
One of the energy from this solar power is in the Mojave Desert, United States. This solar power plant is the largest in the world. But this development is not without problems.
The windy Mojave Desert, which occasionally stops by turtles and coyotes, has been transformed into hundreds of thousands of mirrors belonging to the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System solar power plant. The power plant, which opened on Thursday, February 13, was criticized by environmental activists.
The plant that stands on federal land near the 13-square-kilometer California-Nevada border has reportedly made dozens of birds die from charred roasting while flying across the extremely hot ‘thermal flux’ at the site.
In fact, according to a document released by BrightSource Energy developer in 2013, dozens of birds were found injured in that place while still being built. That’s because 350,000 giant mirrors in that place produce temperatures of almost 540 degrees Celsius.
For these conditions, a number of activist groups also questioned what is the use of cleaner energy plants if they have to sacrifice wildlife. As a result, state and federal officials began a 2-year study on the impact of the Ivanpah energy plant on environmental damage.
Ivanpah is a joint project that brings together NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc., and BrightSource Energy which can generate enough electricity for 140 thousand homes. Its construction is seen as a milestone for developing industries that are testing a balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy in Western America.
Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System has also been debated for years about the impact on wilderness animals, ranging from relocating protected turtles to Mojave milkweed (a typical plant of the Mojave Desert) and other plants that grow in the desert.