Massive Ivanpah Solar Plant in Mohave Desert Halted

The Dept of Energy’s Bureau of Land Management has halted construction on two of three sites of the 392 MW Ivanpah solar plant in California’s Mojave Desert.

As we reported in our stories on Small vs Large Solar, there are increasing concerns about building mammoth solar plants on sensitive lands.

In this case, The Fish & Wildlife Service found the project would disrupt the habitat – some 3520 acres – of more endangered desert tortoises than first suspected. Rather than killing just dozens of tortoises, it would kill over 600. It’s hard to count tortoises because they are often underground. They often die when they’re re-located. 

Fish and Wildlife will issue a revised biological assessment  by the end of May. They still plan to re-locate the tortoises.

Last week, Brightsource, the project developer, announced a $250 million IPO to help pay for the plant. 
Meanwhile, Brightsource will continue construction of Phase 1 of the concentrating solar plant.

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