Placing 173,500 garage door-sized mirrors near an airport might not be a great idea, according to complaints from pilots who have flown close to the world's largest solar electric plant and were blinded by the light.
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is located in California's Ivanpah Dry Lake near the border with Nevada and about 40 miles from Las Vegas. The concentrated reflection from the panels has led pilots to file safety complaints about the blinding glare, according to reports in the Riverside Press-Enterprise and Quartz.
The mirrors focus the sunlight on towers with water-filled boilers that create steam and power turbines that generate 377 megawatts of carbon-free electricity, according to Quartz. While the pilots are only bothered by the light, birds in the area can't deal with the feather-melting heat.