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Calif. Solar Plant Blamed For Causing Birds To Ignite In Mid-Air

IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. (CBSLA.comAP) — A new form of solar energy is having an unwanted side effect: It makes some birds ignite in midair.

KNX 1070's Bob Brill reports California's energy commission is studying the issue of bird deaths at a new kind of solar plant that works with concentrated sun rays.

Calif. Solar Plant Blamed For Causing Birds To Ignite In Mid-Air

The technology has proved unexpectedly deadly to birds at a new solar plant in the Mojave Desert located in the northeast portion of San Bernardino County. The plant is owned by Google and two California energy companies, The Associated Press reported.

Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is urging the state to hold off on permitting another plant of the same kind, and are calling for more study of what it says is the significant number of birds igniting and falling as they fly above the plant.

Garrison Frost of Audubon California says more needs to be learned especially since the company wants to build another plant.

"It's not completely clear what's happening at this plant, how many birds are affected, whether it's the technology at play or some other factor," Frost said. "But we certainly don't wanna see any permits issued for more plants like this until we've got our arms wrapped around what's going on there."

BrightSource Energy and NRG Solar say they are studying methods of reducing bird deaths.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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