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Brazil

Powertis, a company that invests in the development, structuring, financing, construction and operation of large-scale solar PV projects, is developing a 765 MW photovoltaic solar portfolio in the states of Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo, in Brazil. The portfolio consists of one project of 495 MW and three projects of 90 MW each. The Spanish company Soltec will be responsible for supplying solar trackers in all plants and facilitating installation and construction services. These projects will need an investment of B$2.500 MB$ (552 M€) approximately and will supply the energy needed for more than 1,150,000 households.

This portfolio has energy sales contracts (or PPAs – Power Purchase Agreements) with two Brazilian frontline off-takers that will allow the operation of the plant by Powertis until the end of 2041. The projects will begin operations in January 2021 and January 2022.

The projects will be financed by BNDES (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social) and BNB (Banco do Nordeste), with an expected financial closing date in Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.

Their strategic and financial advisor is BTG Pactual, a leading bank in Brazil in the area of M&A and financing in the energy sector.

Powertis expects that the construction of these solar plants will create more than 7,200 direct and indirect jobs during installation and construction phases, which will be complemented by more than 160 permanent direct and indirect jobs when the plant is in operation.

The company has become one of the main PV investors in Brazil after the acquisition of more than 700 MW in solar projects, and a leader in the ACL and bilateral PPAs markets. “With the construction of these four projects, Powertis continues to strengthen its position in the Brazilian market and also contributes to the generation of jobs through the implementation of clean energy”, says Pablo Otín, CEO of Powertis.

Source: Powertis

Aracati Park

The overall renewable power capacity in Brazil is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% from 31 GW in 2018 to 60.8GW in 2030, according to GlobalData.

GlobalData’s latest report: “Brazil Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape” reveals that increased renewable energy auctions, promotion of hybrid renewable energy projects and other government initiatives such as tax incentives, smart metering, renewable energy targets and favorable grid access policies for renewable energy are likely to result in renewable expansion by 2030.

Between 2019 and 2030, solar PV and onshore wind segments are expected to grow at CAGRs of 14% and 6%, respectively. The significant rise in these two technologies will result in renewable energy being the second largest contributor to the country’s energy mix by 2030.

The connection of over 25,000 power systems, mostly solar PV systems to the Brazilian grid in mid-2018 under the net metering scheme, further underpins the renewable growth pattern over the forecast period.

The main challenges for Brazil’s power sector are its overdependence on cheap hydropower for base-load capacity and lack of a robust power grid infrastructure. In 2018, hydropower accounted for 62.7% of the country’s total installed capacity. In case of a drought, depletion of dam reservoirs could result in power shortages and switching over to costly thermal power which will increase the electricity prices.

In the long term, hydropower capacity is expected to decline and be compensated with increased renewable power capacity. On the other hand, thermal and renewable capacities are slated to increase and contribute 28% and 18%, respectively of the installed capacity in 2030.

Brazil is moving towards a balanced energy mix as it prepares to double its non-hydro renewable power capacity by 2030. With an almost 10GW increase in thermal power capacity by 2030 compared to 2018, the country is on course to better manage peak demand, reduce dependence on hydropower and maintain a healthy grid.

Source: Globaldata

EDP Renewables, S.A. (“EDPR”), through its subsidiary EDP Renováveis Brasil, S.A. (“EDPR Brasil”), secured a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement to sell the energy set to be produced by the Pereira Barreto solar photovoltaic park. The project, located in the Brazilian State of São Paulo, has a total capacity of 199 MW and the contract is set to enter into force in 2022.

With this contract EDPR enters the Brazilian solar energy market, while reinforcing and diversifying its presence in a market with a low risk profile, through the establishment of long term contracts, attractive renewable resources and with solid prospects in the medium and long term.

Through this partnership, EDPR will have 1 GW of renewable energy projects under construction and development in Brazil, to start operations between 2018 and 2024, all with long-term contracts secured.

“This contract is yet another demonstration of just how important Brazil is for EDP Renewable’s strategy and that of the parent group globally. Our entry into the Brazilian solar energy market is also a commitment to our diversification of energy production technology, without ever forgetting the increasing importance of clean energy. Brazil is a priority market, which is providing us with growth opportunities” said António Mexia, CEO of the EDP Group.

JA Solar one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance solar power products, has announced that it will supply 8.1 MW of its high-efficiency mono PERC modules to the first solar power plant utilizing PERC modules in Brazil.

Located in Minas Gerais, this project marks the country’s first ground-mounted utility-scale solar power plant to adopt PERC technology. The solar plant was acquired by Sindustrial, a leading construction and electrical panel manufacture company, and Solatio Energia, the largest solar project developer in Brazil. The solar power plant, which is situated in a semi-desert area, will be powered by JA Solar’s high-efficiency mono PERC modules. These high-performance solar modules can ensure high power and stable output under extreme environmental conditions including high temperature and drought, optimizing profits generated from the solar plant for our customers.

Separately, JA Solar’s high-efficiency mono PERC modules are also well received by the distribution channels in Brazil. WEG, one of the leading Brazilian electric power companies, recently ordered 7.8 MW of JA Solar’s mono PERC modules for distribution to maintain its competitive position in the marketplace.

Mr. Cao Bo, Vice President of JA Solar, commented: “Brazil has abundant solar energy resources and represents a promising market for solar energy. JA Solar entered the Brazilian market in 2015, and provided a total of 254MW of solar modules for the country’s biggest solar plant in 2016. Additionally, we established our Brazilian subsidiary last year, expanding our presence and further supporting our customers and partners in the region. JA Solar is committed to our R&D efforts to develop high-performance solar modules. As a PERC patent holder, JA Solar is capable of providing our Brazilian customers with more reliable products and services.

Source: JA Solar

ABB will install Latin America’s first digitally-enabled substation in the city of Juazeiro, northeastern Brazil. The new 230-kV substation and connection bay at the Juazeiro II substation will deliver power from a 156- MW PV power plant under development in the area. The Juazeiro solar project is owned and operated by UK-based investment firm Actis and its renewable energy arm in Latin America, Atlas Renewable Energy.

ABB will deliver the entire Juazeiro substation and provide a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) for protection and control as well as state-of-the-art SAM600 merging units in the switchyard, all conforming to the IEC61850 open communications standard. Copper cables will be replaced with digital fiber optic cables. The digital substation is an ABB Ability™ based technology which helps enhancing controllability and reliability while optimizing the customers’ costs.

A substation works like the heart of a power grid, transmitting and distributing electricity to distant locations, so safety, security, reliability and efficiency are essential. Switching to digital fiber optic connections can reduce the quantity of copper wire needed in a substation extensively, which is a significant cost saving. Digital substations also require substantially less space, and increase safety for personnel because system supervision with digital equipment reduces the need for manual intervention and eliminates the possibility of dangerous electrical shocks in the substation control room.

In 2017, ABB completed an upgrade of a similar project in a substation in New York City, where digital technologies have been applied to the system supplying power to hundreds of thousands of customers in Manhattan. ABB also recently won an order from TAURON Dystrybucja SA, one of Poland’s leading power utilities, for the first digital substation installation in Poland.

Ingeteam has recently supplied its equipment for a solar PV generation project in Brazil. This PV inverter supply, totaling 150 MW, is directed at a project comprising five solar plants, each with an installed capacity of 30 MW.

For this project, the developing company has acquired two different configurations of the 1,500 Vdc Inverter Station solution developed by Ingeteam. On the one hand, Ingeteam has delivered 4.5 MW Inverter Stations combining 3 MW dual inverters and 1.5 MW central inverters. While, it has also supplied 3 MW Inverter Stations equipped with one dual inverter. Both configurations are completed with a skid or metal platform containing the rest of the equipment required to inject medium voltage power: LV/MV transformer, oil deposit, medium voltage switchgear, auxiliary services transformer and low voltage switchgear.

 

Furthermore, the supply also includes an INGECON® SUN EMS Plant Controller. Developed by Ingeteam, this plant control system will allow these five PV plants to implement on-demand production strategies, reactive power compensation, frequency regulation and power factor control, among others. Thanks to this system, the solar plant management possibilities are similar to those of a conventional energy generation plant.

The equipment supplied is to be installed in a number of phases and the project, located in the north of the state of São Paulo, is expected to be up and running by the end of 2017.

Scope of supply

For these projects, Ingeteam has supplied:

30 inverter stations equipped with all the necessary equipment to inject medium voltage power: 1,500 Vdc dual PV inverters, LV/MV transformer, oil deposit, medium voltage switchgear, auxiliary services transformer and low voltage switchgear.
Plant control system.
Commissioning of the system and technical training in the field.

Source: Ingeteam

The balance of non-conventional renewable energies in Latin America once again reflects vigorous growth in 2016, exceeding US$8bn of which the lion’s share goes to wind power, with around 70% of the total investment volume. In the last five years, cumulative installed wind power for the whole region has almost increased fivefold, standing at almost 19,000 MW as at the end of 2016. Interestingly, 80% of that potential is distributed between two large markets, Brazil and Mexico, with a further 15% of the total shared between Chile and Uruguay. This latter country has the highest uptake of wind power generation in the sub-continent’s electrical system, with over 24% of all the country’s electricity needs supplied by wind power during 2016.

 

This increase in the consumption of electricity produced from non-conventional renewable energy sources, is a trend that is only evident where energy policies have been implemented designed to eliminate barriers to the entry of new technologies into the power markets. The measures undertaken have made it possible to sustainably and repeatedly activate investments in this economic activity. In most cases, these measures have not included support for the prices of power generation from these sources.

The four markets that captured over 90% of total investments in the region have all reinforced their policies, by adopting more ambitious targets, rolling-out programmes and designing regulatory mechanisms to increase the deployment of these energy sources in their electricity systems. Read more…

Ramón Fiestas
President of the Latin American Committee, Global Wind Energy Council

Article published in: FuturENERGY June 2017

Parque eólico de Nordex en Brasil / Nordex wind farm in Brazil

The Nordex Group has now secured a major contract for the delivery of 65 AW125/3000 wind turbines. The “Lagoa do Barro” project is composed of eight individual wind farms that will be installed in the state of Piaui in north-eastern Brazil. The wind power systems are to be delivered and installed from mid-2017.

The turbines are designed to make optimum use of the high wind speeds prevailing at these sites. Accordingly, the project planners expect to achieve an above-average capacity factor of around 58%.

 

The customer and future operator of the wind farms is Atlantic Renewable Energy, a developer and operator of wind and hydropower projects in Brazil. The company is owned by private equity fund Actis, one of the leading investors in the fast-growing emerging markets.

With their commitment to sustainability, both companies are focusing on efficient power stations which can be operated with a minimum environmental impact. Moreover, the projects have been structured to increase local manufacturing content. For this reason, the Nordex Group will be using locally produced towers for the “Lagoa do Barro” complex. “This reduces capex, minimises the environmental impact and creates local jobs,” explains Patxi Landa, Chief Sales Officer at Nordex SE.

Source: Nordex Group

Foto cortesía/Photo courtesy: Exosun/EDF

Exosun, worldwide leading supplier of advanced, cost-effective solar tracking solutions for ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) plants, has obtained from the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) the FINAME code number 3418617 for its Exotrack HZ solar tracker, which assures the compliance with Brazilian local content requirements through its subsidiary Exosun Brazil Ltda.
Luiz Carlos Lima Alves, General Manager of Exosun Brazil says “After this long process we are satisfied that our customers can have access to competitive lines off financing through BNDES, BNB and others development banks to buy our tracker system. We are convinced that obtaining the FINAME, added with our strong local team commitment will allow us to offer competitive solutions that will make a difference in the market.

 

In the last year, we have been working to ensure 70% of our Exotrack HZ is manufactured in Brazil. The production areas are Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais and Bahia. Today, we have a yearly manufacturing capacity of 280 MW, which is a good starting point when adding our group capacity of 2 GW per year“ adds Francois Ménard, Exosun’s CEO.

The Brazilian Market has more than 3GW to be built before November 2018, with 92% to be installed with solar tracking technologies. Indeed, the net-metering market has increased on last year and also would use trackers to improve the yield of projects, overall to projects above 1MWp, when is most attractive in terms of return of investments.

Source: Exosun

According to GTM Research’s Latin America PV Playbook, Mexico now has the largest contracted PV project pipeline in all of Latin America. Latin America is expected to significantly increase its share of PV demand. The region as a whole is expected to take over 6% of global PV demand in 2017 on the basis of strong growth in several major markets such as Mexico and Chile. Several key markets on the rise include Argentina and Colombia, with regional giant, Brazil, capable of becoming a force once again through economic recovery.

Utility-scale solar leads all other segments of PV in across the region where solar is beating out prices for other technologies in auctions, and capturing much more of the market share for non-conventional renewables. In the second half of 2016, solar prices reached a low for not only Latin America, but briefly globally at $29/MWh during Chile’s August national supply auction. Distributed generation is on the rise, in some markets such as Mexico and Brazil, where net metering and other incentives are in place.

 

Investment in the sector is spurred through the introduction of tax reforms, partnerships with development banks and funds for renewable-specific projects. Due to low PV prices, however, financing for low rate of return projects is one of the most challenging endeavors for developers. Still, economic recovery and corresponding growth in power demand helps sustain regional renewable energy investment in 2017.

Causes for concern in several markets include currency depreciation (Mexico and Brazil) to ever-present political changes. Latin America electricity consumption per capita is still relatively low when compared with OECD countries. The IMF revised growth projections for Latin America and the Caribbean downwards to 1.2% in 2017, with weaker than expected GDP gains in the major markets of Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Argentina.

Argentina and Colombia are poised to cut into the Big Three’s share of LatAm PV demand

Argentina’s auction clears the way for almost 1 GW of PV to contract through the RenovAR program – a vehicle which establishes targets and ways for clean energy to flourish in the country out through 2025 – when the country has an 20% target for renewables generation. RenovAR Ronda (Round) 2 will be unveiled as soon as March to start the process for more projects to be added on beyond 2018.

Colombia is somewhat following the footsteps of several of its LatAm neighbors. Because Colombia only operates under private utilities, many PV projects are for self consumption only without proper incentives such as net metering. As of the most recent energy expansion roadmap, only 150 MW of solar was targeted by 2035, but that number should be surpassed by 2018 alone.

Mexico will spend 2017 getting started on the massive 4.2 GW pipeline issued in 2016. Projects are being signed, sited, and seeking financing but the continuing decline of the Peso is hurting confidence in whether project returns will be high.

Chile continues to be the leader of cumulative PV installed in Latin America. Chile will experience a down year in 2017. Projects wait to connect to an already congested grid, but Chile adds a few more > 50 MW projects to the grid.

Brazil may be largest economy in Latin America, but a recession and excess electricity supply clouds PV’s future development past already contracted projects.

2016 was the year of utility-scale auction surprises:

Both Mexico and Argentina’s auctions surprised and exceeded expectations in 2016, signaling the first stage for promising build out.

In Mexico’s case, there was doubt whether the proposed energy transition would pan out to the benefit of solar – especially for the utility scale. Before the first energy auction in March, there were many differing views as to whether PV would be able to compete with other energy sources like wind and natural gas. These reservations proved to be overblown as PV emerged as the overwhelming winner in both utility auctions totaling 4.2GW of capacity at prices as low as $33/MWh.

Argentina was an absolute wildcard factoring into the overall dynamics of regional PV. President Macri showed signs of reviving an aging and uncompetitive sector when he was elected in late 2015, but the swiftness of the changes to the sector were unexpected. In total, through 2 rounds of auctions, Argentina added close to 1 GW of utility scale PV. It was, however, the introduction to financing and renewable energy targets in 2016 which set solar up for success in the long term.

The largest economy in the region, Brazil, fell victim to several macroeconomic factors from political instability to drought. These factors decreased the overall electricity demand year over year by 0.7%, and was the main driver for the cancellation for both planned 2016 auctions for which solar was to be a part of. Almost 700 MW of tendered projects from 2014 remain in flux after a potential cancellation plan was scrapped.

2017 regional trends

Brazil was unableto catch a break in almost every facet of the market in 2016. Expect 2017 to be a rebound year for PV as the economy grows incrementally. It is also expected that ANEEL has factored in the regular ebb and flow of hydro capacity when planning future supply auctions. Expect especially the C&I segments add another 50-80MW.

The most recent CNE supply auction in Chile, actually turned out to be a gain for PV. Developers shrewdly worked around the block bidding structure to secure generation in the 24 hour slots using other technologies as a front for a portion of the project to be solar. Look for SIC-SING interconnection to spill progress into early to mid 2018.

Recent auctions in México marked the expiration of permits from the old scheme. Auctioned projects are now in the financing stage, one that will not an easy hurdle to clear given the low rates of return calculated on some projects. Installers have capitalized on the DAC tariff clients, but rates in O-M and H-M industrial classes are increasing too. Look for most of the 2017 DG installations to take place in this class.

Thawing of international relations has provided a spike in the interest of developing renewables in Cuba. The completion of a 50 MW utility plant and 100 MW auction will lead to more interest pouring into the country given its demand needs. Colombia can be pegged as the new Argentina, with a more stabilized government and need for cleaner and cheaper energy sources. Colombia, however, faces policy and incentive limitations.

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