RCAM Selected for DOE Grant to Develop Solar Canal Platform

May 30, 2024 | News Releases

Los Angeles, CA – May 22, 2024 – RCAM Technologies, a climatetech startup specializing in automated manufacturing methods for renewable energy infrastructure, is proud to announce that it has been selected to negotiate a $650,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). The funding is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Silicon Solar Manufacturing, and Dual-use Photovoltaics Incubator initiative (DE-FOA-0003057).

The grant will support the development of RCAM’s innovative Solar Canal foundation, a dual-use solar application designed to generate renewable energy and conserve water by mounting solar panels over irrigation canals. This technology eliminates the need for additional land conversion and leverages existing electrical infrastructure in water transport projects.

Project Highlights:

  • Robust Supply Chain: RCAM has developed a 3D concrete printed foundation that can employ the existing concrete supply chain, protecting from issues with costly and imported steel. This foundation can be manufactured locally, utilizing local materials and workforce.
  • Project Objectives: The project aims to advance the Solar Canal foundation’s technology readiness from Technology Readiness Level 3 to TRL 5, fabricate the first operational prototype, advance the design, enable domestic production, and plan for a pilot project.
  • Significant Impact: The Solar Canal foundation has the potential to utilize over 8,000 miles of federal canals for renewable energy generation. In California alone, deploying Solar Canal over the 4,000 miles of state-operated canals could generate an estimated 13 gigawatts of power and save 63 billion gallons of water annually.

Headquartered in Colorado, with offices in California, New York, and Virginia, RCAM Technologies is dedicated to pioneering the next generation of renewable energy solutions through automated construction. The company is developing a suite of 3D printed concrete products, including wind turbine towers and anchors for floating solar, wave, and wind energy systems.

“The goal of our new 3D-printed concrete solar canal technology is to deliver low-cost clean energy while saving water and creating high-quality jobs using localized manufacturing. This approach not only supports sustainable energy production but also stimulates local economies and builds resilient communities,” said Jason Cotrell, Founder and CEO of RCAM Technologies.

Eduardo Rangel, the project lead, added, “RCAM’s Solar Canal technology strives to be a more cost-effective alternative to current canal solar foundations. The concrete foundation has a targeted 80-year lifespan and can be manufactured using existing concrete supply chains.”

The Solar Canal foundation will provide lower-cost clean energy, conserve water, improve air quality by replacing diesel irrigation pumps, and create high-quality jobs in disadvantaged agricultural communities. RCAM is committed to engaging with these communities, broadening STEM participation through internships and hiring, and incorporating diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) objectives.



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