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Professor Mike Pasqualetti was one of 7 invited speakers at a recent Stanford University symposium entitled “Uncommon Dialogue: US-Mexico Transboundary Water Issues."
Pasqualetti presented his paper “Mixing Energy and Water at the US/Mexico Border." He proposed that land used for irrigated agriculture in the Imperial Valley of California be repurposed in favor of renewable energy development. Such a move would save water for other purposes, decrease carbon emissions from conventional generation, and be more profitable.
The Imperial Valley has a combination of solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal that provide rare synergies for such a proposal, with geothermal functioning as a “battery” to stabilize the intermittencies of solar and wind. A preliminary estimate of the value of the electricity from renewable energy development already in place there is over $700 million per year.