The World’s Largest Solar Plant Is Blinding Pilots

Written by Sarah Zhang, gizmodo.com

We probably should have seen this coming. At the Ivanpah solar power plant near Las Vegas, a massive glittering field of 170,000 garage door-sized mirrors reflects sunlight. And all those mirrors are making flying near Ivanpah not so fun—or safe.solar farm

The Clark County Department of Aviation sent a letter earlier this week urging the plant’s designers to do something about the glare, reports KCET. The letter included two separate complaints from August 2013, before the plant even opened.

One pilot describes flying near Ivanpah was like “looking into the sun.” An air traffic controller also describes receiving constant complaints but being told, chillingly, that nothing was to be done:

Daily, during the late morning and early afternoon hours we get complaints from pilots of aircraft flying from the northeast to the southwest about the brightness of this solar farm. They usually ask us what it is because they don’t know. On this particular morning, an air carrier complained about the brightness and reiterated that it was “nearly blinding.” I reported this to Management and was told that they were going to do nothing about it. They then suggested that I tell the pilot to report it through the safety reporting system that they have and to report it myself. I have no idea what can be done about this situation, but being a passenger on an aircraft that flew through this airspace and saw it for myself, I would say that something needs to be done. It is extremely bright and distracting.

The World's Largest Solar Plant Is Blinding Pilots

The World's Largest Solar Plant Is Blinding Pilots

At Ivanpah, the 170,000 mirrors shift to track the sun across the sky, focusing light onto three 45-story towers that collect the solar energy. Environmentalists and engineers had been worrying that Ivanpah could blind pilots even before the plant was built. Aside from planes, other flying objects are faring even worse in Ivanpah. The concentrated beams of sunlight fries birds who unknowingly fly through them.

As glittering and even beautiful Ivanpah looks in photos, enthusiasm for massive solar projects like this have waned, in part due to its environmental impact. California recently rejected a similar project due to concern for the birds. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen what will happen at Ivanpah. [KCET]

Photos: Ethan Miller/Getty

Read more at: gizmodo.com

Comments (7)

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    geran

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    Way off topic, but judging by the “recent comments” this site has been targeted by a spammer.
    (Yet, I have to go thru the “screener”. Go figure.)

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    Dylan

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    Power plants like these are a fail in so many ways. If they were designed correctly from the start, there would be little to no glare. The goal should have been to focus as much sunlight as possible onto the collector tower. The glare indicates that some of the light misses the tower, which is due to the fact that all of the mirrors are flat and of the same size, regardless of their distance from the tower~ such that the reflected beams are wider than the collector. On the bright side, it probably employs a lot of mirror washers.

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    Yelder Retep

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    John O’Sullivan pretends to be a party to the Mann v Ball case, another claim that has been refuted recently by Michael Mann’s lawyer Roger McConchie. Following one of my revealing comments on his Feb. 2014 article “Mann v Ball Case hit by Fatal Technicality” (http://www.principia-scientific.org/key-global-warming-case-fails.html), another of his many malicious attacks on Dr. Michael Mann, John O’Sullivan commented (#29) “ .. For anyone wanting further proof Ridley is a pyscho, simply Google: peter ridley cyberstalker .. ”.

    I have a much more worthwhile suggestion. For anyone wanting further proof that John O’Sullivan is a liar google “John O’Sullivan” and “Liar” which will produce links to articles such as:
    – July 2011 “SO MANY LIES – AND THE LIAR WHO TELLS THEM” (http://hot-topic.co.nz/so-many-lies-and-the-liar-who-tells-them/)
    – July 2012 “John O’Sullivan, master manipulator – A Closer Look” (http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/john-osullivan-master-manipulator.html)
    – Dec. 2012 “LEYLAND JOINS THE ÜBER CRANKS: SIGNS UP WITH SERIAL LIAR O’SULLIVAN’S VANITY “SCIENCE” GROUP” (http://hot-topic.co.nz/leyland-joins-the-uber-cranks-signs-up-with-serial-liar-osullivans-vanity-science-group/),
    – Feb, 2914 “CLIMATEBALLS: O’SULLIVAN STRIKES AGAIN” (http://hot-topic.co.nz/climateballs-osullivan-strikes-again/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=climateballs-osullivan-strikes-again)

    and last but by no means least

    – “Curriculum Vitae for John O’Sullivan (2010)” (http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/curriculum-vitae-for-john-osullivan-2010.html).
    As I quote at the start of that article “The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.” Winston Churchill (http://jpetrie.myweb.uga.edu/bulldog.html).

    John O’Sullivan can delete as much as he likes but the skeletons in the dark recesses of his cupboard certainly have been caught in the spotlight. He can huff and puff all that he wants but facts are facts!!

    Pete Ridley
    http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/spotlighton-principia-scientific.html

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    Yelder Retep

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    John o’Sullivan’s claim to have been “ .. successfully litigating for over a decade in the New York State courts and U.S. federal 2nd circuit .. ” appears to refer to the lay assistance that he gave to his second wife as she pursued her own pro-se action, which ended in a dismissal of her claims. He also gave lay assistance to another (Thomas Neveu, the close associate of the PSI blog web-master Thomas Richard) American who was also pursuing a pro-se defence against a copyright claim (see Appendix A, Note 5 of http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/spotlighton-principia-scientific.html).

    John O’Sullivan claims that he “ .. has acted as consultant to, and is a close colleague of, Canada’s most prominent climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball, who is currently defending libel suits in the British Columbia Supreme Court against fellow climate researchers, Dr. Michael Mann and Dr. Andrew Weaver .. ” is just as questionable.. His “close colleague” Tim Ball said on 27th April 2012 “ .. I legally disassociated myself from O’Sullivan very early and though he provided commentary he never acted as legal counsel .. ” (see E-mail of 23rd Aug 2012).

    Recently I have posted several home-truths on his PSI blog but most have now been deleted by his blog moderator. Openness and honesty about the PSI blog owner seem to be unwelcome there.

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    Yelder Retep

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    Joe Olson (AKA Fauxscienceslayer) another founding member of this PSI blog says “ .. We have been systematically LIED to about everything .. ”. I couldn’t agree more as far as John O’Sullivan’s claims are concerned.

    Self-aggrandising John O’Sullivan has posted some very impressive profiles of himself on various web-sites (e.g. http://johnosullivan.wordpress.com/about/ and http://johnosullivan.livejournal.com/profile) but it is prudent to never accepted on face value any of his claims. He frequently boasts about the cobbled collection of blog articles that he co-ordinated and had published under the title “Slaying the Sky dragon .. ”. Rather than taking the scientific world by storm it has been scorned not only by supporters of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC) hypothesis but even by respected scientists and others who reject the hypothesis.

    John O’Sullivan claims to be “ .. an accredited academic .. taught and lectured for over twenty years at schools and colleges in the east of England .. ”. For a long time he was claiming in his LinkedIN profile to have been a ” .. Lecturer University of Northampton .. September 1987 – August 1999 (12 years) .. ” but when the University was notified of that claim by a retired American investigative journalist in Nov. 2012 it quickly responded that ” .. the University has no record of a Mr John A. O’Sullivan being employed by the University .. ” (http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/spotlighton-principia-scientific.html Appendix A, Note 9 and http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/curriculum-vitae-for-john-osullivan-2010.html Notes 4 and 4a). Shortly afterwards John O’Sullivan changed the entry in his LinkedIN profile to simply read “Nene College (University of Northampton) Lecturer”. It is possible that rather than being a lecturer at the University of Northampton for 13 years as he originally claimed he may have done some evening lecturing of further education art students at Nene College about 20 miles away from where he worked as an art teacher during 1992/3.

    What John O’Sullivan refers to as his 20-year teaching/lecturing career appears to have been a somewhat patchy career teaching art to high-school students until that came to an abrupt end in 2003. He was suspended following allegations by a 16-year-old friend of his step-daughter, for which he was tried but acquitted in Feb, 2004. When challenged he confirmed this in E-mail exchanges that took place on 11th and 12th December 2011 (http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/selected-e-mails-with-slayerspsi.html). He appears now to be little more than an out-of-work high school art teacher spending his waking hours writing articles for his blog.

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    Greg House

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    [quote][i]Written by Sarah Zhang, gizmodo.com: “One pilot describes flying near Ivanpah was like “looking into the sun.”[/i][/quote]

    Sunglasses, Sarah…

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    FauxScienceSlayer

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    Birds that fly too close to the focal point of this eco disaster are singed and fall near by. Any bird that flies anywhere within the reflected cone is subject to multitudes of greater than ambient sunlight. These birds would suffer at least partial blindness in seconds and go off to die from starvation or predators, never recorded as victims of another failed green meanie scheme.

    “It is easier to lie to someone than to convince them, that they have been lied to.” ~ Mark Twain

    We live in a false paradigm reality, bounded by faux science, fake history, filtered news and financed with fiat currency. We have been systematically LIED to about everything….for centuries.

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