The California Aqueduct runs through the area where I used to live, in the Antelope Valley area of the western Mojave Desert. The desert is a good place for solar power generation. But one large objection is that deserts are fragile, and large solar power plants would adversely affect the environment. The solar power facilities with which I am familiar focus the sun’s energy onto a tank containing a liquid, which is used to generate steam. Photovoltaic cells are more expensive than mirrors.
ISTM that the environment has already been affected where the aqueduct is. Aside from the enormous expense, is there any reason not to cover sections of the aqueduct with photovoltaic cells? There would be little environmental impact (aside from species that have adapted to the relatively new environment of the aqueduct), much of the Antelope Valley is in Los Angeles County, so it is close to a metropolitan area that can make use of the power, and covering the aqueduct would reduce a little evaporation resulting in a small amount of usable water. Such a project would provide a boost to the solar power industry, which might spur innovation and improvements in technology. And there would be one or two jobs created.
Again, I’m aware of the expense. I’m mostly wondering about environmental and other factors.