Gila River Indian Community to receive solar panels over canals

Dec 10, 2023, 7:15 AM

Solar panels...

Expect to see some solar panels over the Casa Blanca Canal funded by the Biden-Harris Administration. (Pexels photo)

(Pexels photo)

PHOENIX — The Biden-Harris Administration will give $5.65 million to construct and install solar panels over the Casa Blanca Canal, the administration announced Friday.

The project is part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda and focuses this project on an area south of Chandler.

Acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis said the agenda “is unlocking resources for new and innovative ways to combat the climate crisis, including simultaneously generating renewable energy and increasing water efficiency.”

“In partnership with local stakeholders,” she continued, “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.”

In addition to the energy collection that these panels would offer, there are also water reclamation benefits. Here are some of the specific examples the administration hopes the project will achieve:

– Generating renewable energy.

– Reducing evaporation losses of the canal.

– Increasing efficiency and production of solar panels because of the cooling effect of the water beneath the panels.

– Creating land savings for open space and agricultural use.

– Reducing facility maintenance by mitigating algae and/or aquatic plant growth.

– Reducing the energy footprint and carbon emissions required to operate and maintain the facility.

“Reclamation is working hard on projects that support water conservation and energy efficiency,” Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton said. “This project will help inform similar projects to better understand their impacts and make that information publicly available so that we can all understand the scale and corresponding benefits they provide.”

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Gila River Indian Community to receive solar panels over canals