BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 518

BLM Desert Advisory Council field trip to Ivanpah Valley, Feb. 10, 2012 - in photos

a solar tower under construction towers over passing vehicles
BrightSource's Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) Ivanpah 1 about three miles southwest of Primm, Nev., covers about 1,200 acres of the Ivanpah Valley.  Mojave National Preserve's Clark Mountain is in the background; Ivanpah Dry Lake and Interstate 15 are in the foreground.

poles in the desert floor hold flat panels
Ivanpah 2 with some heliostats already installed on pylons. Each of the three units focuses more than 53,000 heliostats (mirrors) onto its 459-foot power tower to produce steam for generating about 130 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

a tractor pulls a large glossy panel that reflects the desert
Each tractor-cart transporter pulls six sets of heliostats from the Heliostat Assembly Building to the array of pylons surrounding each power tower.  

a crane lowers a panel
Cranes transport heliostats from tractor-cart transporter for placement on pylons. About 100 heliostats can be installed per day.

view of solar panel placement from a bus
Land beneath and surrounding each solar array is minimally disturbed, however, vegetation is mowed to a height of 12-18 inches and occasional roads are needed for heliostat installation and cleaning. 

a man speaks near a chain link fence
ISEGS Tortoise Husbandry Biologist John Hillman describes tortoise life in the holding pens.  Netting protects tortoises from such predators as ravens and owls.

several people in hard hats under netting over a desert area
Hillman explains the translocation process to CDD External Affairs Director Stephen Razo, on the far left, as well as DAC Member Mark Murray. On the far right is DAC Member Ron Johnston.  About 74 tortoises 10 years and older are scheduled to be translocated this spring to nearby land. About 53 hatchling tortoises will be kept in captivity until the age of five, when they have a much better chance of surviving predator attacks. Another 117 juveniles will be kept in captivity until they are large enough to translocate to the wild safely.

people listen to a man
BLM's Needles Field Manager Rusty Lee and DAC Member Dinah Shumway listen to Chevron's environmental manager as he describes the work of Chevron's Ivanpah Desert Tortoise Research Facility adjacent to the Mojave National Preserve in the Ivanpah Valley. Mojave National Preserve's Larry Whalon, on the far right, told how the preserve benefited from the facility's ongoing research. 

solar panels angled toward the sun, as viewed from inside a bus  
Onboard the DAC field trip bus, members get a close-up view of a completed portion of First Solar’s Silver State photovoltaic (PV) facility on the Nevada side of the border.  The facility uses thin-film PV technology and eventually would cover 2,900 acres and produce 400 MW of generation for Nevada and California electric utilities.

land sailing
Land sailors catch an afternoon breeze on Ivanpah Dry Lake.  International championship land sailing competitions, archery, kite buggying, and world championship disc throwing are just some of the activities this dry lake is used for. 

a woman in helmet and sunglasses strapped into a wind sail cruiser
DAC Member Shumway, buckled up in a tandem, says, "Let the adventure begin!"  Her efforts fell short, though, of that of Richard Jenkins who at Ivanpah in 2009 set the world land speed record for wind-powered vehicles at 126.1 mph.

a land sailor on the flat desert surface
BLM CDD staffer Jennifer Wohlgemuth enjoys the serenity of land sailing shortly before forgetting instructions on how to stop.  She survived.

several land sailors on the flat desert
Five on the dry lake.  See if you can spot the person kite buggying.

a land sailor with a parasail
Kite buggying can be classified as an extreme sport.  One of the more extreme manifestations is buggy jumping. The pilot flies the kite overhead to generate maximum lift and is then hoisted up to tens of feet into the air. Very advanced pilots even perform aerial maneuvers such as 360° spins, sidewinders, pendulum swings and reverse landings.

 a land sailor on the desert floor, with a tall tower under construction in the background
Bekki Lasell of BLM’s CDD staff contemplates BLM’s biggest challenge – preserving multi-use of public lands as she recreates in a transportation, transmission, and renewable energy corridor.

- David Briery, BLM California Desert District public affairs (February 15, 2012)

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 518 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.