Brazil Planning First Floating Solar Farms at Hydropower Plants

  • Floating solar panels already in use in Japan and Australia
  • Brazil utilities expect to spend $25.7 million on two projects

The Brazilian utilities Centrais Eletricas do Norte do Brasil SA and Cia. Hidro Eletrica do Sao Francisco are planning to build 10 megawatts of solar farms, floating atop two hydropower dams.

The companies expect to spend 100 million reais ($25.7 million) on the projects at the Sobradinho and Balbina dams in Bahia and Amazonas states, Brazil’s Energy Ministry said in a statement on its website Tuesday.

The projects will be the first use of floating solar panels in Brazil. The nascent technology is starting to take off in space-constrained Japan, as well as in the U.S., Mexico and Australia.

Eletronorte and Chesf, as the Brazilian utilities are known, expects the floating solar farms to be complete in 2019 and the electricity will supplement the energy produced by the dams.

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