Innovative Solar Project Awarded State Funds: DWR Funds Turlock Irrigation District to Install Solar Panels Over Canals


Turlock Irrigation District’s main canal rendering of solar panels

Turlock Irrigation District’s main canal rendering of solar panels. Photo courtesy of Solar AquaGrid

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, the California Department of Water Resources announced the award of $20 million in funding for an innovative pilot project to install solar energy generation over water supply canals in California.


This funding, allocated by Governor Newsom and the State Legislature through the 2021-22 state budget, will be used by the Turlock Irrigation District (TID) to construct a solar energy generation project over the District’s water canals.

“This is a really exciting project,” said California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot. “It connects our efforts in California to improve water conservation and build drought resilience with the clean energy transition we’re driving across California.”

TID will construct the solar energy project over multiple canal sections in its service area. The District will assess the impact of the project to reduce water evaporation in its canals, generate renewable, carbon-free energy, improve water quality, and reduce canal maintenance.

As a partner on the project, DWR will provide funding from the state’s General Fund to enable this project and offer technical assistance to TID.

“We are excited to explore new ways to advance the integration of renewable energy into our water supply delivery system,” said Karla Nemeth, DWR Director. “The project offers great potential, and we look forward to collaborating with our partners to advance these types of multi-benefit projects.”

The project is a partnership of DWR, TID, UC Merced, and Bay Area development firm Solar AquaGrid.

TID provides irrigation water and power to residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers within its service area. TID, which oversees 250 miles of canals and an electric utility with ability for direct interconnection, serves 4,700 irrigation customers covering approximately 150,000 acres of farmland.

For more about the project, visit TID’s website at



Maggie Macias, Public Affairs, Department of Water Resources

(916) 820-7662 |