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International engineering company Tractebel intends to construct three floating solar PV plants with 30MW of capability at the 52.2MW Batalha hydropower dam, which is owned by Brazil’s state-run power group, Furnas Centrais Elétricas.

Carrying out this complex renewable energy project for Furnas Centrais Elétricas, Tractebel will develop the basic project for the implementation of Batalha Photovoltaic Plants I, II and III.

The objective is to reach a total installed power of 30MW. This will be achieved with about 90,900 photovoltaic modules floated on the reservoir.

The balance of the photovoltaic modules needed to meet the target will be developed on the ground, making use of what was once the construction site of Batalha hydropower plant.

The energy generated will be sufficient to meet the monthly energy needs of close to 30,000 homes.

According to Maria Guilhermina Drummond, superintendent of the Tractebel Energy Product Line in Latin America, the benefits of a floating photovoltaic solar plant are numerous.

“This type of installation offers an efficiency gain in capturing solar energy, since, as they are close to the water, the modules remain cleaner and cooler, an essential factor for superior performance,” she explains.

Floating solar and land-based complement the energy mix

“Floating modules installed on the otherwise unused reservoir of hydroelectric power plants for the generation of solar energy is a smart strategy when aiming for a zero-carbon future,” states Fabiane Ferrão, manager of the renewable business unit.

“This unconventional project marks the beginning of our efforts in the niche of Complex Renewables in Brazil, complementing and adding to the floating solar experience Tractebel has been gaining in other countries since 2015.”

“The equilibrium of photovoltaic components required to satisfy the target will certainly be established on the ground, taking advantage of what was as soon as the building and construction site of Batalha Hydro,” the design provider stated.

Drifting components on extra hydroelectric storage tanks is a “wise” means to decrease carbon exhausts, claimed Fabiane Ferrao, the supervisor of Tractebel’s renewables device.

The Batalha hydropower plant lies on the São Marcos River, in the main Brazilian state of Goiás.

Brazil host an additional 1MW drifting solar plant at the Sobradinho dam, a 175MW hydroelectric centre on the Sao Francisco River in Sobradinho, in the state of Bahia.

Floating solar PV offers a benefit in Brazil, as the components as well as placement of drifting frameworks might aid to decrease dissipation from currently tested water storage tanks, while boosting electrical energy supply in times of dry spells.