A conceptual solar canal.

Why did it take so long for this to arrive here in the U.S., it took many years, and a release of a study pointing out the siting and efficiency advantages. Parking this here for future reference!

Why India’s Canals Could Help Fast-Forward Its Solar-Energy Plans

“Not only do they perform more efficiently, but because we can assume that the generated electricity is utilised in nearby areas, the transmission losses of (normally) 4% and distribution losses of 3% are avoided,” said Sagarkumar Agravat, head of GERMI’s solar research and development.

Apart from this, since the panels are placed on top of water, they are cooled from below, which also increases their efficiency and enhances output by 2.5-5%.

Renewable future: Gujarat govt to set up 100 MW solar power project atop Narmada canal

The ‘solar canals’ making smart use of India’s space

Overall, Gujarat has more than 80,000km of canals meandering through the state. According to Gujarat State Electricity Corporation, if 30% of this were converted to solar, 18,000MW of power could be produced, saving 90,000 acres of land.

This is not a new idea, a demonstration canal project was built in India in 2012:

Gujarat’s solar panels over canals project is a great idea for sustainable energy production

And almost a decade later, in California:

Study looks at covering California’s canals with solar panels

And the study:

Energy and water co-benefits from covering canals with solar panels

And in Popular Science:

Solar panels and water canals could form a real power couple in California

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