Solar power is supposed to replace fossil fuels, right?

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station concentrates sunshine, heating water and converting the steam into electricity.

But lately, it hasn’t been getting enough sunshine — despite being located in the blistering Mojave Desert southwest of Las Vegas — so the plant’s operators are asking for permission to bring in more of another fuel source: natural gas.

Image via flickr

Ivanpah. (Image via Bill & Vicki T / flickr)

As the Arizona Daily Independent reported:

Bright Source Energy, the company operating the plant, is petitioning the California government, requesting permission to burn more natural gas and to emit 94,749 more tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s the equivalent of emissions from about 16,500 automobiles.

If the permit is approved, then this “solar” plant will produce about 35 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels.

You may remember Ivanpah as the plant that has been setting birds on fire with the power of the sun.

This story has been updated.

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