ABC 22 News Team
- Alexandra Lewis
- Amber Watson
- Christian Hauser
- Elyse Coulter
- Hilary Zalla
- Kelly May
- Kristine Frazao
- Natasha Williams
- Nicole Grigg
- Rhonda Moore
- Ann Reynolds
High: 40 Winds: N 15-20 G35 mph
Saturday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy and cold.
Low: 26 Winds: N 5-10 mph
Sunday: Mostly sunny, still cool.
New Solar Plant Causing Birds to Burst into Flames in Midair
IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. (AP) -- 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.
The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.
The deaths are "alarming. It's hard to say whether that's the location or the technology," said Garry George, renewable-energy director for the California chapter of the Audubon Society. "There needs to be some caution."
The bird kills mark the latest instance in which the quest for clean energy sometimes has inadvertent environmental harm. Solar farms have been criticized for their impacts on desert tortoises, and wind farms have killed birds, including numerous raptors.
"We take this issue very seriously," said Jeff Holland, a spokesman for NRG Solar of Carlsbad, California, the second of the three companies behind the plant. The third, Google, deferred comment to its partners.
The $2.2 billion plant, which launched in February, is at Ivanpah Dry Lake near the California-Nevada border. The operator says it is the world's biggest plant to employ so-called power towers.
More than 300,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect solar rays onto three boiler towers each looming up to 40 stories high. The water inside is heated to produce steam, which turns turbines that generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes.
Sun rays sent up by the field of mirrors are bright enough to dazzle pilots flying in and out of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Federal wildlife officials said Ivanpah might act as a "mega-trap" for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays.
Federal and state biologists call the number of deaths significant, based on sightings of birds getting singed and falling, and on retrieval of carcasses with feathers charred too severely for flight.
Ivanpah officials dispute the source of the so-called streamers, saying at least some of the puffs of smoke mark insects and bits of airborne trash being ignited by the solar rays.
Wildlife officials who witnessed the phenomena say many of the clouds of smoke were too big to come from anything but a bird, and they add that they saw "birds entering the solar flux and igniting, consequently become a streamer."
U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say they want a death toll for a full year of operation.
Given the apparent scale of bird deaths at Ivanpah, authorities should thoroughly track bird kills there for a year, including during annual migratory seasons, before granting any more permits for that kind of solar technology, said George, of the Audubon Society.
Miami Valley Crime StoppersIf you have information about a crime that has occurred, call Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 937-222-7867 (STOP) 800-637-5735, 24 hours a day. Callers can remain anonymous.
Know Your CandidatesLearn about the candidates running for office near you!
Border CrisisGet the latest developments on the border control issue!
Chefs CornerWe often invite local chefs into our studio kitchen to demonstrate their cooking techniques and recipes. Watch those video segments on this page.
Pay It ForwardRiver Valley Credit Union, FOX45, and ABC22 recognize the good deeds of people and organizations who make the Miami Valley a better place.
Health Care ReformThe Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act sparked a new battle. Check here daily for the latest developments, locally and across the country.
Secrets Of A ThiefWe expose the "Secrets Of A Thief". Sponsored by Shiver Security.
Cool SchoolsOur children are the way of the future and it all starts with our schools. Join us as our Hilary Zalla goes inside schools around the Miami Valley to find out what cool things students and teachers are ...
Town HallJoin in as our expert panel discusses jobs in Ohio
No Text ZoneTexting While Driving Kills Thousands of People Each Year. Many More are Seriously Injured. You Can Help Make Our Roads a NO TEXT ZONE.
Washington TimesPolitics, Breaking News, US and World News.
On Time TrafficGet the latest traffic information and updates here!
School ClosingsGet the list of all closings and delays for schools and businesses within the area, and sign up for text alerts!
Save Local TVFind out how you can save local TV right here!
Raw NewsWatch raw, unedited and uncensored news stories right here!
Pump PatrolFind the lowest gas prices, check out local and national price trends, report low prices and get fuel saving tips!
Political PulseArmstrong Williams is a pugnacious, provocative and principled voice for conservatives and Christian values in America's public debates.
News LinksThese links were chosen by the newsroom for their newsworthy content. These sites enhance the news stories that aired on the newscast on the dates cited.
Menard's Around the HouseMenards Around the House how-to videos give you tips for those much needed home improvements!
On the MoveGet the latest news and more on your mobile phone!
Good MorningIt's Fun, it's fresh, the way mornings should be!
Top StoriesGet up to the minute information from across Ohio in our Top Stories section!
Your Voice. Your Future.As the country faces challenges from federal budget issues to jobs and national debt, your voice is critical to the future.
Waste WatchHow are your tax dollars being spent? Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments or any groups are using your money wisely...or wasting it.
US consumer sentiment index reaches 7-year high
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumers expect better economic growth and rising incomes in the coming months, pushing a measure of confidence to a seven-year high in October.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It's expected to be one of the top movies of the year.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Michael Vick?
IN THE NEWS: APPLE'S CEO COMES OUT AS GAY
NEW YORK (AP) -- Apple's Tim Cook says it wasn't an easy choice to come out as gay.
Tonight on ABC 22
3:30 pm ..... College Football (Purdue @ Nebraska)
7:00 pm ..... Judge Judy
7:30 pm ..... Judge Judy
8:00 pm ..... College Football (Illinois @ Ohio State)
11:30 pm ... ABC 22 News at Eleven
12:00 pm ... The Good Wife
1:00 am ..... Ring of Honor Wrestling