DOI Earmarks $19M for Solar Panel Installation Over Irrigation Canals – Solar Industry

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The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is allocating $19 million to install solar panels over irrigation canals in California, Oregon and Utah, with the aim of both decreasing water supply evaporation and advancing clean energy goals.  

“Through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we have historic new resources to invest in innovative solutions that advance our clean energy goals and make Western communities more resilient to drought and climate change,” says DOI’s Michael Brain. 

“In partnership with state, Tribal and local stakeholders, the Interior Department will continue to invest in essential water infrastructure projects that mitigate the worst impacts of climate change and invest in communities across the country.” 

The projects are part of an initiative to study the water efficiency gains and amount of clean energy produced for future larger scale implementation. They are being funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, which makes available $25 million for the design, study and implementation of projects to cover Reclamation-related water conveyance facilities with solar panels. 

The announced projects include $15 million for the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority, Delta-Mendota Canal Floating Solar Project in California, $2.55 million for the North Unit Irrigation District, Main Canal Floating Photovoltaics Project in Oregon and $1.5 million for the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, Solar Panels Over the Layton Canal Project in Utah. 

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