Brazil extends application deadline for tender auction

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The deadline for energy projects to apply for a government tender auction in Brazil has been extended.

Announced in September, the A-5 energy auction’s deadline for applications has been extended from noon on 30 September, to noon on 18 October 2013 (except for hydro projects over 50MW, there is no change from the 10 October deadline).

The A-5 auction, the first to be open to PV projects, is being held on 13 December 2013 as a bidding process for the procurement of electricity from new energy projects, up to five years before the start of power supply, with solar generation competing with hydro and wind.

The supply deadline from projects has also been changed to 1 May 2018, with the deadline for commercial operation from proposed projects extended to 1 January 2018, leaving projects more time to plan and complete construction, the auction was specifically formed for longer term projects, with a five-year development phase.

Orchestrated by the ministry of mines and energy (MME) and Brazil’s energy research company, Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE), PV project developers have to register with the EPE and gain a technical qualification before participating in the A-5 auction.

According to guidelines released in July, projects can only be registered if they are consistent and compatible with their installed capacities, and configuration regularised before MME and the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL).

The inclusion of PV projects in the A-5 auction quickly followed after the first ever inclusion of solar in a government tender auction: the A-3 tender auction. The A-3 auction has a shorter development timeline allowance of three years, compared to the A-5’s five year structure. The A-3 auction is meant for medium term projects, but unsuccessful bidders in the A-3 can re-apply for the A-5 auction also.

The A-3 auction is being held on 18 November, after a postponement changed the date from October. The A-3 auction is offering 20-year PPAs for solar and wind, and 30-year contracts for hydro. Successful bids will have to be delivered by 1 January 2016.

Solar had not previously been included in government auctions as the PV technology costs were said to be too high to make it viable, but recently the president of EPE Mauricio Tolmasquim, said the ongoing fall in solar panel prices meant it was likely photovoltaic generation would gain more space in the Brazilian energy mix.

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