Every so often, energy-sector breakthroughs are reported by laboratories or academic papers, but follow up is sparse. But when opportunity knocks, utilities can and should step up to implement these potential solutions. That was the perspective of Turlock Irrigation District (TID) and External Affairs Department Manager, Josh Weimer, when the utility became aware of broad proclamations from an academic study on the possibilities tied to installing floating solar panels on the nation's canal systems. While the study was theoretical, TID recognized that they had the type of canal system in their assets and the energy needs across their service area to be perfectly aligned to put the conclusions of this study to the test, and so that's what they did.
In the latest episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast, Josh joins the conversation to share insights about how and why TID got involved in this first-of-its-kind project that ultimately became known as Project Nexus. Josh also shares the lessons already learned and continuing to be studied from this high potential project, including him noting that:
The study also looked at, what would be the potential efficiency increases by having solar panels over the canals? The study shows that that would reduce the ambient temperature. In the central California, today, it's 105 here. So it's pretty warm. So by reducing that temperature underneath the panels, the UC Merced study says that that would increase the efficiency of the solar panels. So that's something that we're interested to pilot, to test, to see, is that true? And see what the overall benefits could be.
This entry into the podcast, like all of the series episodes, can be found on all major podcast outlets, including iTunes and Spotify, or it can be listened to directly on the Energy Central platform (where we also feature a written transcription if you'd prefer to read). Give it a listen and share your reaction in the comments.
Episode #90: 'Diving Into Project Nexus And Floating Solar' With Josh Weimer of Turlock Irrigation District [an Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast]
About Energy Central Podcast Series:
The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. At least twice monthly, we connect with an Energy Central Power Industry Network community member to discuss compelling topics that impact professionals who work in the power industry. Some podcasts may be a continuation of thought-provoking posts or discussions started in the community or with an industry leader that is interested in sharing their expertise and doing a deeper dive into hot topics or issues relevant to the industry.
The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ is the premiere podcast series from Energy Central, a Power Industry Network of Communities built specifically for professionals in the electric power industry and a place where professionals can share, learn, and connect in a collaborative environment. Supported by leading industry organizations, our mission is to help global power industry professionals work better. Since 1995, we’ve been a trusted news and information source for professionals working in the power industry, and today our managed communities are a place for lively discussions, debates, and analysis to take place. If you’re not yet a member, visit www.EnergyCentral.com to register for free and join over 200,000 of your peers working in the power industry.
The Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast is hosted by Jason Price, Community Ambassador of Energy Central. Jason is a Business Development Executive at West Monroe, working in the East Coast Energy and Utilities Group. Jason is joined in the podcast booth by the producer of the podcast, Matt Chester, who is also the Community Manager of Energy Central and energy analyst/independent consultant in energy policy, markets, and technology.
If you want to be a guest on a future episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast, let us know! We'll be pulling guests from our community members who submit engaging content that gets our community talking, and perhaps that next guest will be you! Likewise, if you see an article submitted by a fellow Energy Central community member that you'd like to hear about in more detail, feel free to send us a note to nominate them. To contact us, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Podcast interviews are free for Expert Members and professionals who work for a utility. We have package offers available for solution providers and vendors.