An emerging threat from the energy sector…

The fuel and power industries have had many accidents over the past few years, from small tanker spills to ruptured oil pipelines, to even large drilling platforms exploding and then collapsing into the sea.  Many of these are not reported to the media (like the oil pipeline leak recently in Arkansas).  Yet it seems that one power generation industry has been completely ignored and yet they are responsible for the largest spills ever recorded not only in the USA but around the world!  This industry that thinks it is immune to justice is the solar power industry.

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Solar plants like this one at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida continually “leak” sunlight into local communities.

Millions of Americans live in the “danger zone” if solar plants have a spill but governments do not give us any advice, education, or training on how to deal with these spills, which can be disastrous and can even give people severe burns or even (a euphemism the government likes to use) “a good time”!!

Did you know residents were forced to flee their homes and head to designated safe places like the beaches and local parks.  Susan Porter told Channel 5 news that “we just couldn’t stay inside, so we packed the kids in the car and headed to the beach.  We’re here now and we’re going to try to make the best of it”.  This disaster lasted for days.The Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Martin County, FL, had a major spill a few weeks ago caused by tropical storm Andrea?  This never made the news.  As the storm passed over the area and moved further north residents in Martin County started to report that they were seeing, what seemed to be, some sort of “sunlight release” in the area.  At the extent of the disaster, residents from Melbourne to Miami reported seeing “large amounts of sunlight”.  Residents, who were never given any kind of disaster or contingency plan, were seen flocking to stores to purchase much needed supplies, shorts, summer clothes, bathing suits, coolers, chairs, umbrellas.  Donny Shapeton, the local district manager for Publix, told the Stuart News that residents were scrambling to Publix supermarkets all over the area trying to get their hands on some much needed picnic supplies, cookout supplies, sodas, beer, and ice.

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Copper Mountain’s “Solar 1” (left) is responsible for the largest solar-spill in the US.

This disaster affected thousands of square miles and displaced tens of millions of residents and tourists but isn’t even the largest solar plant leak in the USA.

In July 2011, the largest solar plant in the USA (Copper Mountain in Boulder City, NV) had the worst solar-leak ever seen in the USA.  For over two months, residents all over the south-western USA were forced to endure “sunny weather”.  Despite local meteorologists trying to play it off as “beautiful weather” residents knew something was not right.  The plant’s sunlight spill forced residents from Los Angeles, CA to Austin, TX and even parts of Salt Lake City, UT, to flee their homes in drives to local pools, beaches, lakes, parks, and even to have “barbecues” trying to make the best of the situation.  Millions of residents didn’t even know they were in a “risk area” and many were even angered at local governments for not only failing to deploy emergency management teams but did not even let residents know about the spill until it was too late – no evacuation orders were ever given.  Sadly, tons of charcoal was scorched and tens of thousands of “water balloons” were destroyed by people trying to counter this disaster.

They say solar power is one of the safest and cleanest forms of energy available but it is still not immune to disasters.  Just ask the residents in the “risk zones” how many “sunny days” or “beautiful days” they have to put up with on a regular basis.  These plants are spilling sunlight on a regular basis all the time.  Sadly, there is very little the public can do right now except prepare for “sunny days”.

 

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