The economics of masking California’s water system with photo voltaic panels

Enlarge / A lot of California’s water supply system is uncovered to the air. (credit score: NSF)
A significant component driving the expansion of solar energy within the US has been the economics of enormous, utility-scale photo voltaic initiatives. The dimensions of vegetation ensures that their builders can purchase parts in bulk, use bigger, extra sturdy {hardware}, and set up all the pieces effectively. That is in main distinction to most distributed installations, like rooftop photo voltaic.
However these installations do include downsides. They usually happen on undeveloped land, which may offset a few of their optimistic contributions to local weather change, particularly if the land that must be cleared was sequestering carbon. Ideally, it might be higher to discover a solution to combine the very best options of each—use beforehand developed websites, however on a scale that places them on par with devoted installations.
One of many options that has been floated (pun meant) is to place the panels on reservoirs. Reservoirs are giant and already developed, and there is a facet good thing about floating the panels onto the water: it cuts down on evaporation, doubtlessly enhancing the worth of the reservoir. Now, researchers have examined another: masking all of California’s open-air aqueducts, which provide one of the crucial productive agricultural areas on the planet, with photovoltaics.Learn 15 remaining paragraphs | Feedback

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