If Ultra-Troubled Ivanpah Is “2014 Renewable Energy Project of the Year,” Then How Bad Off Is the Green Energy Industry?

by William Yeatman on December 10, 2014

in Blog, Features

RenewableEnergyWorld.com (“The World’s #1 Renewable Energy Website”) on Monday reported that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System was named the 2014 Renewable Energy Project of the Year at the PennWell Annual Awards Gala.

I greet this news with a query: Are you serious!?!

Southern California-based Ivanpah, which uses 350,000 heliostat mirrors that focus sunlight on several centralized power towers in order to power steam turbines, was completed in April, and has since suffered a spate of awful news. For starters, the project is exorbitantly expensive. And upon becoming operational, certain unintended consequences came to light, including the project’s propensity for incinerating birds midflight and also blinding pilots. The final insult is that the power plant is on pace to generate only 40 percent of its year-one goal.

Simply put: Ivanpah is an expensive, bird-frying, under-performing mess…and also the “2014 Renewable Energy Project of the Year.”  If this is the best that renewable energy had to offer in 2014, then the industry is in deep doo-doo.

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