What's better than producing clean energy using nothing but the power of the sun? Using that energy to power the cleanup of a federal superfund site that for years has been polluted by pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer runoff.
It seems like all environmentalists are in agreement when it comes to the benefits of solar energy. But when these benefits come at a cost to local wildlife – the group can faction. And so we have it in California, where two large-scale solar energy projects are facing delays, partially caused by the threat they pose to desert flora and fauna.
It’s been a turbulent week for solar in California. First, Governor Schwarzenegger rejects legislation that lawmakers have toiled over for the past nine months in favor of his own executive order. Now Oakland, CA-based BrightSource Energy Inc. has shelved its proposal for a controversial 500-megawatt solar thermal plant in a swath of Mojave Desert land known as Broadwell Dry Lake, a picturesque area that also happens to be the habitat of many species of rare wildlife.