Brazil to explore using solar energy in hydroelectric reservoirs

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In an effort to curtail reliance on hydroelectric plants, the government of Brazil is set to roll out a pilot project in which solar energy will be utilised in hydroelectric reservoirs, according to the Rio Times.

The project is expected to commence within the next 120 days, per Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy.

“We are adding technological innovation, more transmission lines, diversifying our energy generation source, introducing solar energy in a more vigorous manner and combining solar energy with hydroelectric energy,” Mines and Energy Minister Eduardo Braga told reporters following a press conference in Rio de Janeiro last Friday, 27 March.

Braga added: “We are preparing ourselves to win the challenge in 2015 and be able to deliver a model and a electric system starting in 2016 which will be cheaper, more secure and with greater technological innovation.”

According to Braga, the new technology will feature floating solar panels, and will first be featured at the Balbina Hydroelectric Reservoir in the state of Amazonas. Braga added that that the energy would be captured within the reservoirs, using already existing transmission lines.

Currently, hydroelectric plants supply over 70% of Brazil’s electricity, followed by natural gas and biomass.

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