Wait, I have to check the calendar…

Whew, not April 1st.I was afraid I’d fugued out for a few months.

World’s largest bird kill-trap applying for federal grant to pay off federal loan
“After already receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, the wealthy investors of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal grant to pay off their federal loan.”

This “clean”, efficient,” environmentally friendly solar bird incinerator power plant kills anywhere from a thousand to twenty-eight thousand birds per year. And it’s so efficient at generating electricity that it successfully competes with fossil-fueled plants to provide cheap energy needs help paying back the loan it got from the gov because market investors wouldn’t make the loans on something they knew wouldn’t work well.

Of course, birds aren’t the only fliers threatened by this poorly thought out monstrosity. Seems there’s a little problem with aircraft, too. I wonder how much extra evil oil-derived jet fuel all those planes burn diverting during the worst times of day.

The feds arrest some people who blind aircraft pilots. Others, they subsidize.

[sarc] In related news, The Onion has announced that it is shutting down operations due to an inability to make up fake news reports sillier and less believable than the real world. “We just can’t compete with the federal government in sheer stupidity,” explained Editor Cole Bolton. [/sarc]


* Ivanpah has some 300,000 mirrors sprawling over 5 square miles of desert tortoise habitat. It’s rated at 377MW, and was projected to provide more 1,000,000 MW/hours per year. The rated efficiency is just under 29%. It turns out that it only produces roughly a quarter or the projected power. In part, I suspect that’s because someone forgot the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day.

300,000 thousand mirrors on steel framework and towers is a lot of metal. A lot of metal that requires a lot more energy to produce, in concentrations that – even with the most optimistic rainbow&unicorn-enhanced projection – Ivanpah cannot produce.

By comparison, the new Irsching (Germany) gas-fired plant takes up far less area (acres rather than miles), has a rated capacity of 375MW, which actual comes close to meeting (ironically, much of it’s intended service is to provide backup power for “renewable” plants like Ivanpah). It’s rated efficiency is 60%. It can cold-start in 30 minutes, to provide power on short notice day or night.

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