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Title: Visibility and Visual Characteristics of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System Power Tower Facility

Abstract

This report presents the results of a study conducted to document the visibility and visual characteristics of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS), a utility-scale solar power tower facility located on land administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management in southern California. Study activities consisted of field observations of the ISEGS facility and comparison of the observations made in the field with the visual contrast assessments and visual simulations in the ISEGS Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) and supporting documents created prior to ISEGS construction. Field observations of ISEGS were made from 19 locations within 35 mi (56 km) of the facility in the course of one week in September 2014. The study results established that reflected sunlight from the receivers was the primary source of visual contrast from the operating ISEGS facility. The ISEGS facility was found to be a major source of visual contrast for all observations up to 20 mi (32 km), and was easily visible at 35 mi. Glare from individual heliostats was frequently visible, and often brighter than the reflected light from the receivers. Heliostat glare caused discomfort for one or more viewers at distances up to 20more » mi. The ISEGS power blocks were brightly lit at night, and were conspicuous at the observation distance of approximately 6 mi (10 km). The facility is substantially brighter and is seen more clearly in the field than in photographs of the facility or in the prepared simulations, which were based on photographs. The simulations of the ISEGS facility in the Final EIS, which were evaluated as part of this study, sometimes lacked spatial accuracy and realism. The evaluated simulations generally under-represented the actual visual contrast from the project, and some of the contrast ratings in the Final EIS predicted substantially lower levels of visual contrast than were actually observed for the operating facility.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1330577
Report Number(s):
ANL/EVS-15/4
131182
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; solar power tower Ivanpah visual impact scenic BLM Argonne glare visibility

Citation Formats

Sullivan, Robert, and Abplanalp, Jennifer M. Visibility and Visual Characteristics of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System Power Tower Facility. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.2172/1330577.
Sullivan, Robert, & Abplanalp, Jennifer M. Visibility and Visual Characteristics of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System Power Tower Facility. United States. doi:10.2172/1330577.
Sullivan, Robert, and Abplanalp, Jennifer M. Sun . "Visibility and Visual Characteristics of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System Power Tower Facility". United States. doi:10.2172/1330577. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1330577.
@article{osti_1330577,
title = {Visibility and Visual Characteristics of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System Power Tower Facility},
author = {Sullivan, Robert and Abplanalp, Jennifer M.},
abstractNote = {This report presents the results of a study conducted to document the visibility and visual characteristics of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS), a utility-scale solar power tower facility located on land administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management in southern California. Study activities consisted of field observations of the ISEGS facility and comparison of the observations made in the field with the visual contrast assessments and visual simulations in the ISEGS Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) and supporting documents created prior to ISEGS construction. Field observations of ISEGS were made from 19 locations within 35 mi (56 km) of the facility in the course of one week in September 2014. The study results established that reflected sunlight from the receivers was the primary source of visual contrast from the operating ISEGS facility. The ISEGS facility was found to be a major source of visual contrast for all observations up to 20 mi (32 km), and was easily visible at 35 mi. Glare from individual heliostats was frequently visible, and often brighter than the reflected light from the receivers. Heliostat glare caused discomfort for one or more viewers at distances up to 20 mi. The ISEGS power blocks were brightly lit at night, and were conspicuous at the observation distance of approximately 6 mi (10 km). The facility is substantially brighter and is seen more clearly in the field than in photographs of the facility or in the prepared simulations, which were based on photographs. The simulations of the ISEGS facility in the Final EIS, which were evaluated as part of this study, sometimes lacked spatial accuracy and realism. The evaluated simulations generally under-represented the actual visual contrast from the project, and some of the contrast ratings in the Final EIS predicted substantially lower levels of visual contrast than were actually observed for the operating facility.},
doi = {10.2172/1330577},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2015},
month = {Sun Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2015}
}

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