Case Studies & Examples / Renewable Energy

“Million Dollar Tortoises a Symbol of Environmental Schizophrenia”

By  | April 7th, 2010

This may not be a very popular post with some readers, but I feel it is my duty to present the other side of an issue, and maybe help Greens understand why business people and even average Joes sometimes think they’re completely crazy.

The Mojave Desert Tortoise is a threatened species that lives in the Mojave Desert. Brightsource Energy is a solar thermal power company that wants to provide clean, renewable energy to California. Brightsource, tortoise. Tortoise, Brightsource.

Both tortoise and solar company are “green,” in the sense that one is a cute, threatened animal, and the other because it is helping to mitigate global warming.

Yet in order to build its proposed 392 megawatt “Ivanpah” solar plant in the Mojave, Brightsource will have to spend, by the most recent complete figures available, about $20 million to relocate about 20 desert tortoises.

That’s $1 million a tortoise.

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