Installing solar panels over California’s network of water canals could save the state an estimated 63 billion gallons of water and produce 13 gigawatts of renewable power every year, according to a feasibility study published in Nature Sustainability.
California moves more water than any other system in the world, with 75% of the state’s available water in its northern third and the southern two-thirds accounting for 80% of the state’s demand.
Covering the canals with solar panels would reduce evaporation by shading the canals from the sun (along with the co-benefit of reducing canal-choking plant growth) and the cooling effects of the water could boost solar panel efficiency.
Three Nations Energy (3NE), a corporation owned by Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation and Fort Chipewyan Metis Association, announced the completion of their 2.2-megawatt solar farm in Fort Chipewyan this week.
This article presents the results of a major crowd-sourcing campaign to create open geographic data for over 260,000 solar PV installations across the UK, covering an estimated 86% of the capacity in the country. In particular, it focuses on capturing small-scale domestic solar PV, which accounts for a significant fraction of generation but was until now very poorly documented. The dataset suggests nameplate capacities in the UK (as of September 2020) amount to a total of 10.66 GW explicitly mapped, or 13.93 GW when missing capacities are inferred. Our method is applied to the UK but applicable worldwide, and compatible with continual updating to track the rapid growth in PV deployment.