The Desert Sunlight project would generate about 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity. For comparison, California's peak electricity demand has reached nearly 52,800 MW. Meeting our energy needs with projects like Desert Sunlight would require over 100 more of such destructive facilities. And then repeat this destruction in every other state to meet their energy demands. This is madness and simply unsustainable.
Author Chris Clarke recently had the opportunity to fly over and photograph the early stages of Desert Sunlight's construction. The photo below shows land bulldozed for the project. I have added red lines along the contours of the project site and a nearby mountain to compare to a zoomed out Google Earth image that shows how much bigger this destructive project will get:
|(Click on image to expand) Photo by Chris Clarke. Bulldozers have only cleared a fraction of the land required by First Solar's Desert Sunlight project. I added the red lines to compare to the Google Earth image below.|
Another photo by Chris Clarke shows what this site looked like from the ground (before construction) -- desert washes wind their way through creosote bush scrub and microphyll woodland habitat where one could find desert tortoise, burrowing owls, foxtail cactus, and Swainson's hawks.
|Photo by Chris Clarke|