Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 19, 2014

Israeli company actually built the Mojave mega solar project

Ivanpah Solar Project Mojave Desert
American success stories? Israeli corporations slip through media radar with mega US contracts: Mojave mega solar project and Arizona border Apartheid

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Dutch translation NAIS

The Mojave Desert mega solar project, touted as an American success story, was actually built by an Israeli company, using $1.6 billion from a US loan guarantee. 

It seems to have slipped by the radar of mainstream media that BrightSource Energy is an Israeli company, now with an office in the US.

The big bash for the opening of Ivanpah Solar Electric Generation Project included President Obama touting it as an American success. Google's name was spelled out in the mirrors, and the grand opening included a rock band in the southern California desert.

Few, if any, of the media pointed out Ivanpah was built by an Israeli corporation. 

The Jewish Business News reports, "Built at a total cost of US $2.2 billion, and partly funded by the United States Government with a US $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the US Department of Energy, the project is now producing 392 megawatts of solar power – enough to provide a town of nearly 150,000 people with electricity."

The coup of $1.6 US dollars was celebrated in Israel, as reported by Israel 21c.

Still, while Israel celebrated the prize, the Obama administration cheered it as an American success story.

"The Ivanpah project is a shining example of how America is becoming a world leader in solar energy," U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement after attending a dedication ceremony at the site. "This project shows that building a clean-energy economy creates jobs, curbs greenhouse gas emissions and fosters American innovation."

The hoopla in the media also failed to point out the birds it will fry with intense heat. The Wall Street Journal called it a "$2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project."

This isn't the first time that the US mainstream media has failed to report that Israeli companies were awarded huge US contracts, specifically contracts in the Southwest.

US spy tower on Tohono O'odham
land near Sells, Arizona
Photo Brenda Norrell
During the rush to profiteer from the border spy towers, and the xenophobia directed at migrants along the Arizona border, Boeing subcontracted Elbit Systems. 

Elbit Systems is a major Israeli defense contractor and responsible for the Palestine Apartheid Border wall and security. Boeing was awarded the integrated fixed towers contract and subcontracted to Elbit Systems.

Meanwhile, today the construction of new spy towers is underway on the Arizona border, with more US spy tower construction underway now on the western side of the sovereign Tohono O'odham Nation. The spy towers are pointed at O'odham homes.

After the flop of the first $1 billion boondoggle of 50 miles of Boeing spy towers on the Arizona border, Homeland Security is now set to release another contract for spy towers. The integrated fixed towers include surveillance equipment and sensors. Homeland Security said Boeing's $1 billion spy towers didn't work.

Elbit Systems drones, used to patrol the Palestine border, were also purchased by the US previously to patrol the US southern border. The US purchased Elbit's Hermes 450 UAV.

In related news of corporate profiteers, the head of GEO Group has been exposed as profiteering the most from the private prison industry.

The just released report from the Center for Media and Democracy says George Zoley is America’s highest paid corrections officer. Zoley is CEO of private prison giant GEO Group.

"To help Zoley rake in $22 million in compensation between 2008 and 2012, GEO Group writes language into private prison contracts that force taxpayers to keep prisons full or else pay for empty beds. GEO Group has faced hundreds of lawsuits over prisoner deaths, assaults, excessive force and more, which result in secret court settlements."

Earlier, in order to maximize their profiteering from misery, Wackenhut split into two groups, GEO Group, profiteering from private prisons, and Wackenhut Transportation, profiteering from the transportation of detained migrants on the border. 

Wackenhut buses are those that snake along the Arizona border transporting detained migrants. 

Wackenhut Transportation has a Homeland Security contract. Far from being an American-owned corporation, G4S is listed on the London and Copenhagen stock exchanges. G4S is being exposed globally for the abuse of prisoners.

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