After receiving approximately $2 billion in the form of a construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, investors of a California solar power plant are applying for a $539 million federal grant to pay it off.
If the U.S. Treasury approves, Google and NRG that own the Ivanpah solar plant will receive a taxpayer cash infusion to pay off 30 percent of the facility’s cost. Taxpayers, on the other hand, will receive none of the revenue the facility will generate over the next 30 years. Ivanpah is the largest solar plant in the world. However, despite being touted by the Obama Administration as a way to reduce carbon emissions, it has not been able to live up to its task.
According to Fox News who cites the US Energy Information Administration, the plant produced only about a quarter of the power it’s supposed to, a disappointing 254,263 megawatt-hours of electricity from January through August, not the million megawatt-hours it promised. Get ready for this, according to an NRG spokesman, the reason for the underperformance was the sun didn’t shine as often as they had hoped.
I guess since the sun didn’t shine as much it was easier to clean off the dead birds that slam into the plant’s solar panels. According to a study done by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) as reported by Fox, birds mistake the panels used by this facility as water and end up colliding with them. That is if they don’t burn up first as the temperature can reach up to 800 degrees on approach. Despite assurances from NRG it is only supposed to be only a few thousand birds killed, the CBD determined bird death totals would be almost 30,000. Not one word of complaint from PETA.
Fortunately, since the Republicans won control of Congress, renewable energy subsidies like this could go by the wayside. Until then, I resent my hard earned money paying for this green corporate welfare scheme.