Construction Photos - April 2012

April 23, 2012 - Members of Basin and Range Watch climbed Metamorphic Hill on public land nest to the giant solar project under construction in Ivanpah Valley, San Bernardino County, California. BrightSource Energy has all three power towers under construction, and heliostats (mirrors) are going up in Units 1 and 2.


^Panorama of several photos stitched together of the entire project.

^BEFORE: View from small hill next to the Metamorphic Hill in 2010. View looks south towards Mojave National Preserve and Mountain Pass.

^AFTER: Similar view from Metamorphic Hill, showing Unit 1 tower and solar field.

^BEFORE: Washes wind through creosote-bursage desert alluvial fan. 2010.

^After: Near the same area, the desert has been mowed and fenced off in Unit 2 solar field.

^BEFORE: View from Metamorphic Hill in 2011, outlines of Units 2 and 3 become visible as construction begins. Clark Mountain rises in the distance.

^AFTER: Unit 2 is mowed; Unit 3 power tower is under construction.

^BEFORE: Looking south from Metamorphic Hill along Unit 2 edge to the central laydown area and Unit 1. 2010.

^AFTER: Unit 2 is mowed of vegetation and heliostats are going up the the southeastern corner.

^BEFORE: View looking west towards Clark Mountain in 2009.

^AFTER: Unit 2 now dominates the landscape.

^BEFORE: Spring 2012 from a small hill looking northwest towards Metamorphic Hill and the Stateline Hills beyond.

^AFTER: View from the top of Metamorphic Hill looking northwest along the edge of Unit 2 towards Unit 3. The Stateline Hills is in the distant right, merging with the Clark Mountain Range.

^Unit 2 power tower, April 2012.

^Top of Unit 2 power tower showing the construction of the pipes in the receiver where concentrated solar energy will be focused to create super-heated steam.

^Base of power tower 2.

^Unit 3 under construction, April 2012.

^Unit 2 solar field partly mowed and construction equipment.

^Heliostats going up in Unit 2. Mirrors are secured to posts that have been pounded into the ground after the creosote was mowed down to a few feet or less. The mirrors are in standby mode horizontally placed.

^This "low Impact Design" does not allow for a functioning Mojave Desert ecosystem.


^Heliostats in Unit 1.

^The desert mowed and fenced.

^Heliostat posts in a section of mowed desert. Creosote bushes are gone, and low-growing bursage can still be seen. Remains of mulched Mojave yucca lie here and there. Delicate biological soil crusts and desert pavement have been crushed and driven over.

^Remnants of the desert scrub after mowing in Unit 2.

^In a wash crossing the solar field, some Cheesebushes appear to be stump-sprouting green shoots after a rain event recently. Some shrubs are killed by mowing, others will regrow from the root base.

^Mowed desert, also suffering from a severe drought this year.

^Unit 2 solar field mowed, with Clark Mountain.

^Unit 2 power tower as seen from the proposed Stateline Solar project area.

^A Desert tortoise burrow east of Metamorphic Hill with ISEGS power tower in Unit 2 in the distance. This burrow is within the proposed First Solar Stateline project footprint.

^An adult desert tortoise lay in the burrow.

^As seen from Primm, Nevada, power tower 2 rises over the top of Metamorphic Hill.

^Panorama from Primm of all three towers.

^Sunset in Ivanpah Valley.

^From inside Mojave National Preserve in southern Ivanpah Valley, a new city is visible: the BrightSource solar project is brightly lit on the left, and Primm, Nevada lies on the right.

^All night the Ivanpah solar project is well lit, on the left. Primm lies on the right.


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