Brazil expects wave of solar tenders with national energy auctions

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Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry (MEM) has announced Brazil’s third national renewables-only tender auction will be held on 10 October, with a strong focus on solar expected.

Bids will be accepted for wind, biomass and solar, with projects coming online 1 October 2017 under 20-year power purchase agreements.

The auction is to focus on solar, with Maurício Tolmasquim president of Brazil’s Energy Research Office (EPE) telling local news outlet, Jornal da Energia: “The highlight of this auction will be the entry of large-scale photovoltaic arrays.”

The auction is expecting 2GW of solar power projects and has been modelled to assist and allow time for solar power projects to gain adequate funding, said Tolmasquim.

MEM has also introduced a ‘revolving’ fund to help communities without electricity install solar power.

Also in April, EPE, announced its all-energy 2014 A-5 auction is to be held on 12 September.

The A-5 auction has already attracted 225 solar power projects to register, totalling 6.1GW. The proposed projects will be competing with natural gas, coal plants and wind projects.

Over a thousand projects applied for the all-energy auction of 50.9GW of tenders, with projects to come online by 2019.

Wind and natural gas accounted for 70% of the applications, with over 700 wind projects, totalling 17.4GW, and 36 natural gas plants accounting for 20GW.

Tolmasquim praised the diversity of registered power projects. “I'm not aware of any energy auction in the world that has attracted so many projects. This confirms the attractiveness of this type of auction” he said.

Last year’s A-5 auction received zero solar projects, prompting the Brazilian state of Pernambuco to host the country’s first solar-only tender auction where it approved 122.82MW of solar projects.

Tolmasquim has said on Twitter the government is rationing risks and making it easier for projects to gain funding, encouraging applications.

Brazil has seemingly embraced solar energy, having set a goal of making the forthcoming football World Cup carbon neutral, and installing solar panels on every stadium.

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