Construction Continues on ISEGS

^Unit 1 and the Construction Logistics Area (CLA) sprawl across the valley.

May 10, 2011 - On May 4 volunteers with B&RW visited public land near the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California near the Nevada border. Mowing of desert vegetation continues on all of Unit 1, and pole-driving of heliostat poles has begun. Construction work is ongoing for Units 1 and 2 powerblock pads and flood control berms (which are massive). Tortoise biologists are doing surveys outside boundary within 2 kilometer of ISEGS for translocation areas. The size of the project from the adjacent Metamorphic Hill is astounding.

^A small city now exists with Unit 1 mowing and pole-driving ongoing.

^Temporary buildings with Unit 1 concentric mirror access roads in the background.

^Unit 1 powerblock pad.

^Looking south over Unit 1 area towards Mountain Pass.

^Machinery at work on Unit 2 powerblock pad and flood control berm. Tortoise fencing with black plastic can be seen below.

^Unit 2 powerblock.

^Unit 2 powerblock.

^New road in the creosote desert along the Unit 3 boundary.

^Construction Logistics Area. Bechtel is building the huge solar power tower project.

^A new fence and road slices through the desert along the Unit 3 southern border.

^As seen from a hilltop, the Unit 2 and 3 fencelines join together on the valley floor. Clark Mountain in Mojave National Preserve rises in the distance.

^One must crane the neck far to see the northern boundary of Unit 3 towards the Stateline Hills.

^New roads along Unit 3.

^Part of Unit 2 boundary around the central powerblock where the tower will rise, in red arrows. This is less than one third of the total project.

^8 Scraper-graders are parked at the CLA.

^Pole-driving in Unit 1 for heliostat poles that will hold mirrors.

^Pole-driving in a mowed part of Unit 1.

^Mowing machine in Unit 1 mulching desert plants.

^Unit 1.

^Pouring rock onto a large flood-control berm on the CLA.

Another Project Nearby: Stateline

Just to the northeast of ISEGS is another proposal for a large photovoltaic power plant by First Solar, called Stateline. It to is on Mojave Desert creosote-yucca habitat with plenty of Desert tortoises. We explored the area in May and found wildflowers and other life thriving.

^Phacelia (Phacelia crenulata) blooming.

^Mojave aster (Xylorhiza tortifolia) flowers on the Metamorphic Hill looking northwards over the flat part of Ivanpah Valley where the Stateline solar proposal would lie.

^Blooming California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) shrubs.

^Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera) on the north side of Metamorphic Hill.

^A small Lilac sunbonnet (Langloisia setosissima) hides in the gravel, barely visible as a hiker walks by.

^A Buckhorn cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa) along a small sand wash on the Stateline Solar project site.

^Flower of the Ground cherry (Physalis crassifolia).

^Old seed pod of the Ground cherry.

^Wallace's Eriophyllum (Eriophyllum wallacei).

^Flowering Creosote (Larrea tridentata) at the base of Metamorphic Hill.

^Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) blossoms.

^Biological soil crust can be seen growing in the sand-gravel of northern Ivanpah Valley, a living mesh of algae, lichens, moss, and fungi that sequesters CO2 from the atmosphere.

^Less than an inch long, a unique mantis blends in well as it hunts over the biological soil crust.

^Calico cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii) flower.

^Tiny Fishhook cactus (Mammillaria tetrancistra).

^Silver cholla (Cylindropuntia echinocarpa) flower.

^Minute flowering Forget-me-not (Cryptantha sp.).

^Eriophyllum and Eriogonum (an annual buckwheat flower).

^Pencil cholla (Cylindropuntia ramosissima) among the creosote-bursage desert in the vicinity of the proposed Stateline solar project. This is excellent tortoise habitat.


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