Let there be light! This week, the new world’s largest solar power plant started generating energy in the United States and has been making headlines for producing electricity and scorching birds.

Of course, the $2.2 billion Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating system was launched in the Mojave Desert, in the sunny state of California and just started officially operating last week.

The good news is this new massive solar plant is producing great renewable energy; the bad news is it’s being called an avian death trap, according to The Wire.

The facts on the world’s largest solar energy plant

Privately owned by Google, NRG Energy and BrightSource Energy, the Ivanapah Solar Electric Generating System is located on federal land — built with a $1.6 billion federal grant invested in the project.

Now, you’re probably wondering how it works. Energy is created like this:

“It covers nearly 5 square miles of federal land and consists of 300,000 computer controlled mirrors that are 7 feet high and 10 feet wide. The mirrors focus the sun’s light to the top of 450-foot towers, where water is converted to steam, which powers turbines,” reports Liberals Unite.

The project started back in 2010 and after launch, became the largest solar power plant in the world — even beating out Masdar City’s giant solar farm.

Thoughtfully constructed using mirrors and towers and using BrightSource Energy’s LPT solar thermal technology, the 377 megawatt net solar complex was predicted to generate electricity for 140,000 homes in California during peak hours.

Even BuzzFeed is in awe of how majestic the new world’s largest solar farm is (they have some really awesome photos if you’re into it).

But the system isn’t flawless and there are folks worried about the bird situation

While this project was in its testing phase, The Wall Street Journal reported the fact that workers were discovering dozens of dead birds — and we’re not just talking pigeons — there was evidence of a peregrine falcon and hawks.

“The world’s largest solar power plant that recently opened in the Mojave Desert has a gruesome effect: birds are getting fried to death when they fly near the towers,” reported Discovery News.

Discovery News is also saying that right now the only plan to deal with this is a two-year study.

For businesses looking to improve their energy efficiency, we have incentives.


Image credit: Tony lllia2