Brazil is to investigate the potential of using floating solar panels at its hydropower reservoirs, starting with a large-scale project at the Balbina power plant in the Amazon.

Energy Minister Eduardo Braga has announced plans for the construction of a 350 MW floating solar farm at Balbina, which was built in the late 1980s and which supplies energy to the city of Manaus.

The hydropower plant’s reservoir covers an area of 2360 km2. The proposed solar plant is expected to start up in around 3 months, Braga said at a news conference in Rio de Janiero on March 27.

Braga also said that the energy from the floating solar farm would cost around $80/MWh. The solar farm will use the existing transmission infrastructure at the hydropower plant.

Brazil’s government hopes that the use of floating solar panels could help to alleviate energy shortages and diversify its energy sources.