Last year, US scientists published a feasibility study on the benefits of building solar panels over water canals.
Now, the Nexus pilot project is being implemented in California, in which solar panels will be placed over two spans of canals in the Turlock irrigation district to collect energy.
According to available data, California authorities have allocated $20 million to implement the Nexus project. The construction of new power facilities above the canals will begin in October 2022.
Solar panels will appear over the 150-meter span of the canal in Hickman. Similarly, the panels will be placed over a 1.6-kilometer canal span in another part of the state.
“If it works for the first two miles of the Nexus project that we’re implementing now, it could potentially spread to many places,” said Josh Weimer, Turlock Water & Power manager.
The length of the California channels is about 6.5 thousand km. If they were all covered in solar panels, that would generate 13 gigawatts of renewable energy.
One gigawatt is enough to power 750,000 households, and about 9.75 million families can be provided with energy. According to state data, there are more than 13 million households in California.