Nesting hawks block utility work in California

April 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM

OAKLAND, Calif., April 16 (UPI) -- Work on a California transmission line upgrade to connect a solar energy development to the power grid is being blocked by nesting hawks, officials said.

A spokesman for BrightSource Energy Co. in Oakland, Calif., said the presence of at least five pairs of red-tailed hawks nesting in the path of the line upgrade could delay the work for months, but power is still planned to be delivered early next year from the 5.6-square-mile solar plant in San Bernardino County's Ivanpah Valley

Andrew Kotch, a spokesman for the California Public Utilities Commission, said Southern California Edison crews had sought permission to work within 137 feet of the nests, instead of the 400 feet required by the state, but the request was denied.

Officials said the hawk nesting season lasts until August, meaning the upgrade may not be completed until October.

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