BrightSource is proving beyond doubt that breakthroughs in renewable energy and local species of plants and animals can co-exist. For example, heliostat placement is avoided in areas of solar fields featuring high concentrations of rare plants. Smaller areas, surrounded with a “halo” fence, are marked off and never disturbed. Other flora is relocated to a plant nursery and maintained for the life of the project.
Best practices such as these also govern our programs for indigenous animal species. For example, in addition to moving the desert tortoise out of harm’s way during plant construction at our Ivanpah project in the California desert, our Head Start Program is enabling tortoise eggs to be hatched, young tortoises to be cared for, and adults to be safeguarded within protected areas. These areas are watched over and managed by a dedicated team of biologists to ensure tortoises are more likely to survive, and ultimately be released into their natural environment to further repopulate. For the desert tortoise, which has a 98% mortality rate in the wild, this level of protection is contributing to the future survival of the species.
Want to know more about our commitment to desert tortoise care and protection? Find out how the Ivanpah project owners - NRG, Google, and BrightSource Energy - are going to great lengths to ensure minimal impact to the tortoise population here.