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The US is about to get its first solar-covered canal

Eric Wesoff of Canary Media reports on a solar-covered canal in the U.S.

The C3 Take
  • The first canal-based solar project in the U.S. is nearing completion on tribal lands near Phoenix, Arizona, utilizing existing irrigation canals to generate solar energy.
  • Canal solar projects like this could create significant clean energy with lower environmental impact than large-scale solar farms, while also reducing water evaporation and algae growth.
  • If implemented across all 8,000 miles of canals managed by the Bureau of Reclamation, canal solar could potentially generate over 25 gigawatts of renewable energy and save billions of gallons of water from evaporation.

“Erecting solar on top of federally owned canals could be a win-win. The approach limits the disruption to ecosystems, and some studies suggest it actually has the potential to help canals do their jobs better; an over-the-canal design can prevent water from evaporating and inhibit algae growth. The comparatively small installations can also connect clean power directly to the distribution grid, an important distinction as it has become increasingly difficult to connect large projects to the transmission grid.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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