NRG Solar Engages in Cover-Up

NRG Solar's Vice President recently expressed to CBS just how ill-informed he is about desert ecology.  In a story about the Ivanpah Solar project, Mr. Randall Hickok described the 5.6 square mile Ivanpah project - which NRG invested in along with BrightSource Energy - as "environmentally benign" and sited on "degraded land" that is "less prone to have wildlife."  Really?  Is that why he had to hire over 80 biologists to displace dozens of endangered species?  Ivanpah Valley hosts an above-averages species richness, serves as a critical habitat linkage for the desert tortoises, hosts pockets of rare plants, and provides a foraging area for desert bighorn sheep and golden eagles.

I'm sorry Mr. Hickok didn't bother to read the environmental impact statement for the project.  I would much rather NRG invest in distributed generation and projects on already-disturbed lands, but now I'm not sure they know the difference.  Luckily CBS also interviewed the National Parks Conservation Association, which is advocating for more sensible renewable energy siting.

[click on image to expand] The Ivanpah Solar project is the epitomy of poorly sited renewable energy.

 Construction crews mow down yucca plants that may be hundreds of years old to make way for the Ivanpah Solar project.

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