Bales discusses solar canals project in New York Times

Renderings of Project Nexus, a pilot program intended to place solar panels above canals across California.

Researchers at UC Merced are collaborating with Solar AquaGrid and the Turlock Irrigation District on Project Nexus, which aims to build drought resilience by covering the state’s canals and aqueducts with solar panels to limit evaporation and generate renewable energy.

CITRIS principal investigator (PI) Roger Bales, distinguished professor of engineering at UC Merced, told The New York Times, “We want these to eventually be scaled across the western U.S., where we have a lot of irrigated agriculture and open canals.”

Bales was a PI on the NSF-funded Sierra-Net project, where CITRIS researchers installed over a thousand sensors throughout the American River Basin to create a network that would allow them to remotely monitor various environmental factors to manage the state’s water supply.

Image courtesy of Solar AquaGrid