Atlas Renewable Energy lands US$76m loan for construction of 239MW Brazilian solar project

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Atlas has over 2GW of contracted projects in Latin America. Source: Atlas Renewable Energy

Latin America-focused solar developer Atlas Renewable Energy has secured a BRL406 million (US$76 million) loan from Brazil’s BNB development bank for the construction of a 239MW solar PV project.

The Lar do Sol – Casablanca II solar plant will be located at Pirapora in the solar-heavy state of Minas Gerais.

It is being developed under the Brazilian model of self-production whereby companies – in this case, Brazilian chemical company Unipar – pay lower tariffs on power produced if used for self-consumption. Under the system, remote generation is allowed, meaning the production of power can occur in a different geographical region to where it is consumed.

Atlas Renewable Energy will be the main investor and operator of the project, with Unipar being a co-investor. Unipar will use the power to produce chlorine for the treatment of water.

“Projects like these are great examples of long-term relationships between a renewable energy generator, a financer and a client,” said Luis Pita, general manager for Atlas Renewable Energy in Brazil.

“We are very proud that Unipar and BNB recognise Atlas’ capabilities and track-record in this industry to select us as their partner to build and operate large-scale renewable energy projects.”

PV Tech Premium has explored the financing options available for utility-scale PV projects in Brazil, with development banks such as BNB a key source of project finance along with commercial banks, although the terms each offer are markedly different.  

“The financing for renewable energy projects stands out among the support policies of BNB,” said its superintendent Diego Rocha Batista. “In addition to having adequate conditions for the sector, the credit program is part of the bank’s environmental sustainability actions.”

In May last year, Atlas secured a US$150 million loan to finance the construction of its 359MW Lar do Sol – Casablanca PV project in Brazil.

The Miami-headquartered company was launched in 2017 and is owned by UK-based investment firm Actis.

PV Tech will be taking a more in depth look at the Brazilian solar market in the next edition of PV Tech Power due to come out this month, with expert insights from analysts, trade bodies and companies working in the country’s solar sector.

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