Renewables: Florida’s Green Energy Killing Fields
Florida Power and Light (FP&L) on its website states, “At our three solar energy centers throughout Florida, we’re making the most of our state’s sunshine, turning it into clean energy and using it to power your home or business.” FP&L has solar energy centers (solar panel farms) located in Cape Canaveral (Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center), Desoto County (Desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center) and Indiantown (Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center).
In August 2007 then Governor Crist joined FPL Group Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Lew Hay in announcing FPL Group’s $2.4 billion investment program aimed at increasing the use of solar thermal energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. One of the country’s largest electric utilities, FPL is planning to build 300 megawatts of solar generating capacity in Florida. The new facility will avoid nearly 11 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over a 20-year period. FPL Groups serves customers in 26 states, and its principal subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company, serves more than 4.3 million customer accounts in Florida.
“It only makes sense that the sunshine state would have a solar power plant,” former Governor Crist said. “This plant will serve as an example to other Florida and American companies that alternative energy can work.”
According to the Tampa Bay Times, “As of June 2013, California leads the nation with 3,761 megawatts of installed solar capacity. Arizona comes in second with 1,250 megawatts. New Jersey, which isn’t exactly known for its sunny skies but where roof-mounted units have proven popular, ranks third with 1,119 megawatts. Florida, by contrast, has 202 megawatts, making it No. 10 in the nation.”
What the media does not tell you is how many birds have been killed at FP&L’s three solar energy centers.
The author of Energy Freedom and Executive Director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE) Marita Noon writes, “Even green projects have an impact on their surrounding environment. Green energy, specifically so-called renewables [wind, solar], has been sold to the American public as the answer to a host of crimes against the planet.”
Wind turbines chop up bald and golden eagles, and other endangered species, like a Cuisinart—the taller turbines with longer blades (which produce more energy, and, therefore, is where the trend is heading) have a predicted annual ten-fold mortality increase.
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Hundreds of acres of photovoltaic solar panels confuse migratory water birds, such as the “once-critically endangered brown pelican whose lifestyle involves fishing by diving into open water,” to veer miles out of their way to dive toward what they perceive are lakes or wetlands—only to die from “blunt force trauma.” At the largest solar thermal plant in the world, Ivanpah, owned by BrightSource Energy, the 170,000 reflecting mirrors—designed to “superheat liquid in boilers”—literally fries feathers. The USA Today reports that the intense radiation—called solar flux—has singed some birds, melted feathers, and denatured the protein in their wings as they fly through the intense heat. Unable to fly, the injured birds drop out of the sky and die.
Ellen Knickmeyer and John Locher from the Associated Press report, “Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — ‘streamers,’ for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair. Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one ‘streamer’ every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator’s application to build a still-bigger version.”
ABC NEWS VIDEO: Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) mandated that 33% of the states energy be from solar power, stating, “The sun in California is like the oil in Texas.”
The BrightSource Energy website states, “Since its founding in 2006, BrightSource has significantly evolved – from a small start-up with a great idea that became the foundation for the world’s largest solar thermal power project – to a company focused on global deployment of its solar field technology and support services.”
On September 21, 2012, the LA Times ran a story about the BrightSource Energy large-scale solar projects titled, “Taxpayers, ratepayers will fund California solar plants,” with the subhead: A new breed of prospectors — banks, insurers, utility companies — are receiving billions in subsidies while taxpayer and ratepayers are paying most of the costs. Critics say it’s a rip-off.”
Florida FP&L ratepayers subsidize these three renewable solar energy wildlife killing fields. Will we be constructing more of these “solar deserts” in the sunshine state?
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