Solar Installation Proves Dangerous to Aircraft
A major solar power installation in California has brought to light an interesting problem associated with solar panel projects. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which is located in San Bernadino County, California, consists of thousands of mirrored heliostat panels that provide up to 397 megawatts of solar power, and a recent report shows that when the panels are placed in standby mode, they create a sun glare that has proved dangerous for airplanes flying over the area.
Airplanes frequently fly over the area when traveling between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and when the panels are in standby mode, they become extremely reflective and produce a glare that can be difficult to navigate for pilots and aircraft.
The report was released on July 17, 2014 by Sandia National Laboratories, a federally funded laboratory.
Pilots have said that the glare makes it difficult for them to scan the air for other aircraft, which makes mid-air collisions more likely.