Tender launched for utility-scale floating PV in Brazil


Empresa Metropolitana de Águas e Energia (EMAE), the energy supplier for the Brazilian state of São Paulo, has launched a tender for the deployment of four utility-scale floating PV projects.

The arrays will be built at the largest water reservoir in the state, which hosts an 880 MW hydroelectric power plant. The power station supplies electricity to about 1.8 million people, and is also used for fishing and swimming.

The EMAE is seeking proposals for projects ranging from 1 MW to 30 MW. The facilities will sell power on both the regulated and free energy markets, the company said.

A pilot project that has already been developed at the dam has demonstrated the feasibility of floating projects at the chosen location, the EMAE said. Interested developers have until Dec. 9 to submit their proposals.

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Brazil hosts another 1 MW floating solar plant at the Sobradinho Dam, a 175 MW hydroelectric facility on the Sao Francisco River in Sobradinho, in the state of Bahia. The project, which will eventually be expanded to 5 MW, was launched by the company in 2016. Chesf has also installed a pilot floating PV array at the Balbina Dam, a hydroelectric facility and power station on the Uatuma River in the Amazon rainforest.

Floating PV offers particular advantages in Brazil, as the PV modules and floating mounting structures could help to reduce evaporation from already challenged water reservoirs. They could also bolster electricity supplies during droughts.

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