Letter: SolarBee Experiment on Lake Jordan

 SolarBees (medoraco.com).

SolarBees (medoraco.com).

     According to J. Ray Cox, Resource Stewardship Action Group Chairman, Professional Engineers of North Carolina, the SolarBees on Lake Jordan haven't done much to curtail cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) levels. The group's monitoring, he writes, "has revealed no reason to expect the technology to result in significant water-quality improvements for such large-scale applications."

     Beyond that, chlorophyll-a levels, he continues, show no discernible difference from pre-installation levels; chlorophyll-a is commonly used as an indicator for algae presence, and, in the case of Lake Jordan, it is the only parameter available to gauge the affect of the SolarBees.

     Cox closes his letter with a call to use science-based criteria in the selection of future water-quality projects. 

     SolarBees, solar powered mechanical devices, purport to reduce algae-levels by moving water along the water column, diluting algal concentrations. However, their multi-million dollar installation on Lake Jordan has had issues beyond criticism from the scientific community; initial reaction was mixed at best, and a few of their devices were taken off anchor by winter storms at the beginning of this year. 

     The full letter is available through the link below.