News and analysis about energy in California with an eye toward renewables.
Solar Thermal
Proposed Solar Plant Would Kill More Than Twice as Many Birds As Ivanpah

Proposed Solar Plant Would Kill More Than Twice as Many Birds As Ivanpah

Solar Thermal: According to a document published by the California Energy Commission on Friday, a solar power tower facility proposed for Riverside County would kill or injure more than twice as many birds with its concentrated solar radiation as compared to an existing solar project in San Bernardino County.
Federal Study Confirms Aviation Glare Hazard From Solar Project

Federal Study Confirms Aviation Glare Hazard From Solar Project

Solar Thermal: A federal laboratory has released a report on hazards from glare at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in San Bernardino County, and the risk that glare poses to aviation in the area. It's not good news for those flying between LA and Vegas.
Milestone: Ivanpah Solar Plant Formally Opens

Milestone: Ivanpah Solar Plant Formally Opens

Concentrating Solar: It's been a long road for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, from its formal proposal by BrightSource Energy in 2007 through the well-publicized problems with desert wildlife some of which actually brought construction to a brief halt in 2011.
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Huge, Rare Plant Population Found Near Solar Power Site

Huge, Rare Plant Population Found Near Solar Power Site

Solar Thermal: A new paper suggests that a proposed solar power tower project in northeastern Riverside County may harm California's largest population of a rare desert shrub.
Ivanpah Solar Bird Kill Count Rises

Ivanpah Solar Bird Kill Count Rises

Wildlife: According to documents the plant's owners filed with the California Energy Commission a total of thirty dead birds were found at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in September, with 14 reported as showing signs of burn injuries.
Solar Plant Generates Power For Six Hours After Sunset

Solar Plant Generates Power For Six Hours After Sunset

Concentrating Solar: A solar thermal power plant in the Arizona desert just showed that solar power doesn't have to stop working when the sun goes down. On Wednesday, Abengoa Solar announced that its 280-megawatt Solana plant near Gila Bend, Arizona, which just started delivering power to Arizona's largest utility, was able to keep putting out electrical power six hours after the sun set.
Solar Energy Company Releases Photos of Burned Bird

Solar Energy Company Releases Photos of Burned Bird

Wildlife: The company building a 377-megawatt solar power plant near the Mojave National Preserve has released photos of a burned bird found on the site in August, and while the images aren't particularly grisly, they're nonetheless sobering for those concerned about the effect of concentrated solar energy on desert birds.
Great Blue Herons Die at Solar Project

Great Blue Herons Die at Solar Project

Wildlife: Since publishing our story on water bird deaths at desert solar facilities we've learned that the toll is greater than we reported: two great blue herons have been found dead at one of the projects.
Environmental Groups Question Rush on Solar Power Project

Environmental Groups Question Rush on Solar Power Project

Solar Thermal: As a developer of a large-scale solar energy project tries to rush approval by a California agency, a couple of environmental groups are saying "not so fast."
BrightSource on Hidden Hills Bird Risk: 'It's Complicated'

BrightSource on Hidden Hills Bird Risk: 'It's Complicated'

Wildlife: BrightSource experts say that the California Energy Commission oversimplifies the issue of solar flux injury to birds, but one of those experts may have made a sensible suggestion that the firm won't like much.
Solar Project Would Infringe Tribes' Salt Songs

Solar Project Would Infringe Tribes' Salt Songs

Solar Thermal: Building the 3,277-acre concentrating solar project "will cause irreparable adverse impacts" to cultural landscapes important to the Pahrump Paiute and nearby Native people.
PG&E Will Buy Power From Desert Solar Project With Storage

PG&E Will Buy Power From Desert Solar Project With Storage

Solar Thermal: The project in Riverside County would be California's first solar power plant to incorporate thermal storage.
Using Solar To Make Tortillas Is No Waste

Using Solar To Make Tortillas Is No Waste

Solar Thermal: A solar trade reporter's weird rant about Mexican technology misses the point.
Solar Hot Water: Good Enough For Alaska, Good Enough For California

Solar Hot Water: Good Enough For Alaska, Good Enough For California

Solar Thermal: If solar hot water heating works above the Arctic Circle, why isn't it more popular here in the land of sunshine?
Ivanpah Solar Project Reaches Construction Halfway Point

Ivanpah Solar Project Reaches Construction Halfway Point

Solar Thermal: The controversial Ivanpah solar project is halfway done.
'Massive' Flood Damage at Genesis Solar Project

'Massive' Flood Damage at Genesis Solar Project

Solar Thermal: Last week's storms caused 'massive damage' to a California desert solar project.
Breakthrough in Solar Thermal PV

Breakthrough in Solar Thermal PV

Photovoltaic (PV): Photovoltaic Thermal Hybrid system | Photo: Julian/Flickr/Creative Commons License It may be hard to imagine in heat-wave-stricken California, but people in many places around the world rely on solar energy for heating, using rooftop sunlight to heat water or air....