$15 Million for California Floating Solar Energy Build Out

A solar canal in Beirut, Lebanon

A solar canal in Beirut, Lebanon. A solar canal is a canal fitted with solar panels, increasing their efficiency, and reducing evaporation and land usage.  [Photo by Jon Evans from Toronto, Canada via Wikipedia]

Press release from the office of U.S. Representative Jared Huffman:

U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (CA-02) announced $19.5 million from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to install solar panels in irrigation canals as part of an initiative to study the water efficiency gains and amount of clean energy produced for future larger scale implementation. $15 million of this funding has been awarded to the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority for the Delta-Mendota Canal Floating Solar Project.

The projects in California, Oregon and Utah are funded by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which makes available $25 million for the design, study and implementation of projects to cover Reclamation-related water conveyance facilities with solar panels. Representative Huffman crafted the provision in the IRA that made this funding possible.

“This announcement is a significant milestone for our efforts to combat climate change and transition the country to clean, green energy. Deploying solar panels on our canal systems is a smart solution to our growing water and energy dilemmas – it harnesses clean energy technology to increase efficiency while reducing our carbon footprint and water loss from canal evaporation,” said Rep. Huffman. “Thanks to the visionary work of stakeholders, engineers, climate experts, and the many other partners I’ve worked with over the years on this, I was able to craft a provision to secure this funding which will make our vision a reality.”

The projects announced include:

The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, Delta-Mendota Canal Floating Solar Project (California), $15 million. The Authority, Reclamation and the University of California-Merced will collaborate through a public-private-academic partnership to assess the impacts of floating photovoltaic solar arrays on the Delta-Mendota Canal. The pilot intends to deploy potentially up to three floating solar technologies to assess the viability, costs, and benefits of floating solar over canal technologies on large conveyance facilities like the Delta Mendota Canal. The initiative will also validate floating photovoltaics design for moving water, identify and address issues related to maintaining a canal with panels on it, explore the power generation potential, and develop methods to quantify impacts on water quality.
North Unit Irrigation District, Main Canal Floating Photovoltaics Project (Oregon), $2.55 million. The district will construct floating photovoltaic solar panels on the Main Canal of the Deschutes Project located near Bend, Oregon. The project will evaluate the impact of floating solar panels on water efficiency gains and amount of clean energy produced.
Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, Solar Panels Over the Layton Canal Project (Utah), $1.5 million. The district will cover existing canals with canal-spanning solar panel structures in the upper portion of the Layton Canal near West Haven, Utah. The project will serve as a five-year demonstration of data collection and monitoring to evaluate the technical capability, economic feasibility, and viability for full scale implementation for both Reclamation and the district. The project expects to increase water quality by reducing algal blooms along the canal, produce renewable energy to offset pump station use or sell back to the utility, and significantly reduce water loss to evaporation.

In 2015, Rep. Huffman released a “discussion draft” of his comprehensive legislation to address the growing water crisis in America. Following unprecedented public input, he introduced the Drought Relief and Resilience Act (H.R. 2983) based on ideas and feedback from nearly 1,000 Californians. Provisions from this legislation to support floating solar panel projects were ultimately included in the Inflation Reduction Act, which funded today’s projects.

Installing solar panels in irrigation canals has the potential to provide a variety of benefits, including:

Reducing evaporation losses from the canal
Increasing efficiency and production of solar energy
Creating land savings for open space and agricultural use
Minimizing canal maintenance by slowing aquatic plant growth
Reducing the energy footprint and carbon emissions required to operate and maintain the facility

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda represents the largest investment in climate resilience in the nation’s history and provides much-needed resources to enhance Western communities’ resilience to drought and climate change.

Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Reclamation is also investing $8.3 billion over five years for water infrastructure projects, including rural water, water storage, conservation and conveyance, nature-based solutions, dam safety, water purification and reuse, and desalination.

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32 Comments
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SickofSocialists
Guest
SickofSocialists
1 month ago

Oh look!! Another tax payer funded scam for Huffman campaign contributors.

How completely surprising and totally unexpected.

AkbarD
Member
1 month ago

Time to step away from the bong amigo.

Yabut
Guest
Yabut
1 month ago

Sounds like a clever idea. But so much money just for studies? When the story includes a photo that of an already existing example? Where has the idea that a private/public partnership means the private section ponies up the money in exchange for the right to use public space? Huffman is acting like the Grant Fairy but using other people’s money.

Bozo
Guest
Bozo
1 month ago
Reply to  Yabut

>”When the story includes a photo that of an already existing example?”

Photo is of a ‘canal-spanning’ solar installation. Solar Panels + I-Beams (or some such).
They are now talking about a ‘floating’ installation. Solar Panels + Floats.
Nothing really new there I guess… most of the current solar-floating locations are on lakes or ponds. Only thing different is that the canal water is moving.
One thing that wasn’t talked about. A long arrays of floating solar panels will slow the water down a bit. (I guess).

Yabut
Guest
Yabut
1 month ago
Reply to  Bozo

Not all- “district will cover existing canals with canal-spanning solar panel structures in the upper portion of the Layton Canal”
Possibly worse in having probably plastic objects floating in canal water accumulating algae and debris and trapping the occasional deceased animal is the leaching of chemicals.

Antichrist
Guest
Antichrist
1 month ago
Reply to  Bozo

Wow yet a waterwheel or turbine produces more power but i guess this is the new new thing …,, solar panels have a 26 year life cycle btw ….. then end up in landfills as they cost more time and money than just creating new cost so toxic waste into the ground afterwards

willow creekerD
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Antichrist

Solar panels have no moving parts. That’s a big plus.

old guy
Guest
old guy
1 month ago
Reply to  willow creeker

they’re hazmat as waste, and lack cost effectiveness. that’s a big minus. increasing tne debt, even a bigger minus. huffman’s a fool with friends.

Last edited 1 month ago
Real Facts
Guest
Real Facts
1 month ago
Reply to  old guy

No hazmat waste Recyclable

Last edited 1 month ago
Real Facts
Guest
Real Facts
1 month ago
Reply to  Antichrist

Panels are guaranteed for 25 to 30 years, That’s the warranty, not the lifecycle. I just donated some 165 to my neighbors that were 27 years old and worked like new. I installed new 440 watt panels that cost 100 dollars each, solar works and is affordable.

Thatguyinarcata
Guest
Thatguyinarcata
1 month ago
Reply to  Yabut

The study will entail building out three units, different styles it sounds like. So it’s not just like planning. Still seems steep, but I’ve got no idea how much these types of things cost to build

Mr. Clark
Member
Mr. Clark
1 month ago

Oh Jer, this is just another
Wishful progress Pipe dream. When will you realize and understand that climate change is a scam and stop wasting tax money on it?

D'Tucker Jebs
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr. Clark

He really needs to start reading more Twitter, Breitbart, and Gateway Pundit.
All those scientific journals publishing peer-reviewed research that confirms that climate change is real seem to have skewed his perception.

Mr. Clark
Member
Mr. Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

You know those ”scientists” are all paid to do the studies. Over and over. Follow the money.

D'Tucker Jebs
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr. Clark

Being a scientist is a job. Of course they are paid.
Their studies are also submitted for peer review- which is often more of a hobby for many scientists who love to find flaws in other people’s research.
Only studies that have survived the peer-review process are published.
That’s how you know they are reliable.

Yabut
Guest
Yabut
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

Science is 1) full of ordinary human beings making mistakes or being greedy and 2) not always peer reviewed before publishing or faked peer reviews have occurred, and 3) frequently not reported in the press with anything like accuracy. “The majority of retractions have involved scientific fraud (fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism) or other kinds of misconduct (such as fake peer review).”
So why I disagree with Mr. Clark’s conclusion in this case about the scientific findings, I disagree with your’s too.
Science should never be treated as Godlike omniscience. Especially as reported in the general press. Every study cited as proving something needs caution. At minimum a check on the involved scientists and a check on the funding does not go a stray even if it is not proof of any malfeasance. And certainly a certain level of skepticism is needed.
https://www.science.org/content/article/what-massive-database-retracted-papers-reveals-about-science-publishing-s-death-penalty

peace frog
Guest
peace frog
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

Always with the gaslighting. Stop skewing perception with reality.

krongus
Guest
krongus
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr. Clark

the money leads pretty squarely to the fact that basically every study that disagrees with the consensus on climate change is paid for by energy and petrochemical companies, or conservative thinks tanks that receive funding from those same groups.

ABA
Guest
ABA
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr. Clark

Yes: science is a vast conspiracy. Must be, since it always conflicts with your opinions.

Guess
Guest
Guess
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

Climate change is absolutely real! it’s been happening since the Big Bang!

Espino
Guest
Espino
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

Climate change is real. Yeah of course it is, when wasn’t it changing??? Anyway the call was global warming, and when it turned out to be bullshit the climate snake oil salesmen changed the name. It’s about money, and the path of least resistance to steal it.

D'Tucker Jebs
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Espino

Global warming and climate change are two different but related things.
Apparently there are still a few people whop are confused by this.

And, of course the Earth’s climate has changed throughout time. It has almost always had huge consequences for life on Earth, though.
And, since the most recent spike in CO2 and temperature correlates directly with the burning of fossil fuels, it is silly to pretend they are not associated.

Al L Ivesmatr
Guest
Al L Ivesmatr
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

1970s – Global Cooling hoax; 1980s and 90s – Global Warming hoax; 2000 to present – climate change. No matter how it is spun up, it’s a fraud perpetuated by power trippers who think they have figured out how to grab the Ring. The paid minions spread the fraud to the great unwashed masses illiterate in Science knowing many will bite at the obvious but disguised worm. Oopsie, the precipitation cycle is back – fog, hail, frost, rain, and snow. Unfortunately for many humans, thinking beyond a static life with climate stasis is not reality. They actually believe they are the ones we have all been waiting for. Pretty dam weird. Kinda like thinking dinosaur bones are plaster paris. Kinda like having your heart ripped out on the pyramid for the greater good because sacrifices matter. Listening to them will result in a self imposed, Darwin immolation. Oh well, Natural Selection. Coconuts and crabs and sand and driftwood.

D'Tucker Jebs
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Al L Ivesmatr

I gotta compliment your willingness to boldly and repeatedly announce that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.
And to do it in such a way that your exact point is almost impossible to decipher.
Most people would be far too embarrassed.

Bozo
Guest
Bozo
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

>”1970s – Global Cooling hoax; 1980s and 90s – Global Warming hoax; 2000 to present – climate change.”
— Explanation.
Back in the 70’s, one of the predominant theories was “Global Cooling”. One theory was that atmospheric pollutants, mostly aerosols would restrict the amount of sunlight reaching the earth. (etc etc). That theory was based on a 10 year cooling of the earth from the early 50’s to early 60’s.

80’s to 2000 (or so). So the cooling stopped in the late 60’s. Then the earth started to warm up again. Global cooling stuff stopped, hence — Global Warming.
That is the ‘normal’ chemical/biochemical process due to human caused atmospheric change. [IMHO: That is probably going to happen, pending big volcanic explosions, solar activity, earths magnetic reversal, or ‘unexpected’ weather anomalies due to glacial runoff, current changes… etc etc etc.]
Climatologists realized that some places might get warmer (and drier)… and some places might get cooler (and wetter). So the media hyped up more ‘dramatic swings in weather’. Predicted 20 hurricanes during the summer, record cold-snaps, record snowfall, record heatwave, etc etc.)

Now the current term is ‘Climate Change’.

D'Tucker Jebs
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Bozo

The cooling effect of aerosols is real.
It is, however, trumped by the warming effects of greenhouse gas emissions. They knew this even in the 1970s and there was never any peer-reviewed conclusion that the planet was in a cooling trend.
The current terms are both global warming and climate change.
It has been this way for decades. Maybe I underestimated the number of people who understood that two different, but related, things could be happening at the same time.
The Earth is warming. That is undisputable.
And it is warming primarily because of human activity. Natural phenomena such as solar cycles, volcanoes, and the Earth’s magnetic poles (which have not flipped) are measurable and pale in comparison to what humans are doing.
This general warming trend, however, is not uniform. Some places are getting drier, others are getting wetter. Fluctuations in the jet stream can also cause events such as polar vortexes, which can make Winters seem more severe. That is why we also use the term climate change.

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Relatively Speaking
Guest
Relatively Speaking
1 month ago

This seems like a pretty big deal, then your remember we gave 114 BILLION to Ukraine to kill people and prolong a pointless war, and are teeing up another 60 BILLION. Oh and about 4 BILLION a year in military aid to Israel and we see how they use that. Not to mention the annual “defense” budget (thats approaching a TRILLION). But ya hey cool 15 million…. once it gets through government contracting they will probably get like maybe 100 solar panels or something lol. Huffman making big changes.

Yabut
Guest
Yabut
1 month ago

Something are hard to monetize. Like giving people the tools to resist an invasion. What you are basically saying not to resist any invasion if a big state is willing to take small enough bits from a smaller state. That is a sure path to WWIII. It was to WWII.
Israel is a more difficult issue but even there the US has given much less to them than to various renewable projects each year. Aid mostly takes the form of buying military goods made by US workers and Israel is required to share development. Also the US funds surrounding countries’s military too even if they in turn fund people like Hamas. But it would not be objectionable if Congress were to be made more careful about where military aid goes.
This too is only one of dozens and dozens of grants and support for renewable energy in US which total about ten times higher at the least.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/186818/north-american-investment-in-sustainable-energy-since-2004/

Relatively Speaing
Guest
Relatively Speaing
1 month ago
Reply to  Yabut

What a pitiful and ignorant boot licking response. Not every conflict is WWII and not every adversary of the US is Hitler. Furthermore the hegemony of US foreign policy has led to millions of avoidable deaths. Our bases surround every other country and the US has initiated most of the conflicts of the last 50 years, often under false pretenses like ‘weapons of mass destruction’. Defending the military industrial complex because is makes jobs for US workers is also laughable; as if there are not so many better ways to spend that money. You are so far from reality here there will be no point to additional dialogue, but this comment has really undermined any credibility you might have had in past or future posts.

I am a robot
Guest
I am a robot
1 month ago

Multiple benefits if done right. Add to the electricity produced less evaporation from the water below the panels and cooler water because it is shaded, good for fish. I think this is an awesome idea even for silly people who have not signed on to (OBVIOUS) climate change 😎

farfromputin
Member
farfromputin
1 month ago

Ah, the future is not guaranteed but it sometimes surprises us with pleasant outcomes. This is life. Go ahead; step into it.