Floating solar panel arrays are increasingly being deployed in places as diverse as Brazil and Japan. One prime spot for these “floatovoltaic” projects could be the sunbaked U.S. Southwest, where they could produce clean energy and prevent evaporation in major man-made reservoirs. Courtesy of KYOCERA Corporation. A 2.3-megwatt floating solar array in Kasai City, Japan. The Colorado River’s two great reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, are in retreat . Multi-year droughts and chronic overuse have taken their toll, to be sure, but vast quantities of water are also lost to evaporation. What if the same scorching sun that causes so much of this water loss were harnessed for electric power? Installing floating solar photovoltaic arrays, sometimes called “ floatovoltaics ,” on a portion of these two reservoirs in the southwestern United States could produce clean, renewable energy while shielding significant expandes of water from the hot desert sun. […]