House Dems release bill to study floating solar panels

The bill would task the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation with studying the feasibility of putting floating solar panels on reservoirs.

December 02, 2022

Democratic Reps. Paul Tonko of New York and Jared Huffman of California introduced a bill Thursday that would task a pair of agencies with further studying the feasibility of using floating solar panels to increase solar energy production.

The bill, called "Protect Our Water and Expand Renewables (POWER) on our Reservoirs Act," would have the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation conduct a feasibility study that would examine using floating solar panels on reservoirs they oversee.

“Floating solar offers tremendous opportunities to expand domestic renewable energy and protect our threatened water systems, including by reducing evaporation and preventing harmful algal blooms,” Tonko, chair of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment and Climate Change, said in a release. “I am proud that this legislation will help tackle the dual crises of climate change and historic drought, driving our nation towards a more sustainable future.”

Through earmarks in the fiscal year 2022 appropriation bill, Tonko helped secure $3 million in funding for floating solar panels for the city of Cohoes in New York. The city will put floating solar photovoltaics (FPVs) on its reservoir that could potentially power all of the buildings and streetlights the city owns with 40 percent of that produced electricity available for other uses, according to the bill’s fact sheet

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By:  Lamar Johnson
Source: E&E News