Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System
ARGUS’ SCOPE OF WORK: Argus Contracting provided mirror cleaning and collision maintenance. Shrubs had to be removed so the mirrors could be put in to mirror-washing position. This was challenging because of strict regulations regarding how much dirt one guy may remove with one shovel for one minute. Some ground collisions were not able to be cleared because regulations forbid disturbing natural washes created by monsoon flash floods. Weather was another challenge. If the winds were above 25 mph, work had to shut down so the mirrors could be put back to a “safe” (tabletop) position. Monsoons caused flash-flooding, requiring the mirrors to be put back to safe position. Lightening storms within 3 miles also required the mirrors to be put back to safe position, as they are huge conductors. Mirrors were struck by lightning occasionally, upon which they exploded with shards of glass spreading a 30-foot radius.
Heat illness training was necessary due to the extreme weather conditions. Special precautions were taken to prevent heat stress such as wearing light weight clothing and long sleeve shirts. Argus crew wore Camelbak packs to keep hydrated with a minimum of 10-minute breaks every hour … with more breaks if the crew needed them. Special safety glasses were worn due to the sun rays reflecting off mirrors. Snake gators were worn because two of the deadliest snakes – Mojave Green and Sidewinder – were prevalent. Turtle training was necessary because the desert tortoise is an endangered species, and if nine of them are killed over the life of the 30-year project, the entire project will be shut down.