Company drops California proposal to build solar tower using technology that can burn up birds

A solar-energy company has dropped a proposal to build a 75-story tower in California that uses a new kind of technology that can cause some birds to ignite in midair.

The California Energy Commission was slated to vote on BrightSource Energy's project this month before the company withdrew its application.

The plant would have used "power tower" technology that concentrates solar energy. State and federal officials and conservation groups say a similar BrightSource tower near the Nevada border proved unexpectedly deadly to birds that flew through the concentrated rays.

Joe Desmond of BrightSource said Wednesday that the plant's backers decided they needed a project that would better meet the needs of the market and energy consumers. He declined to be more specific. He says he expects power-tower technology to play an important role in renewable energy.