Infrastructure management company, based in South Africa, Engevix has installed a pilot PV plant in Brazil.
Installed next to the wind farm complex, Macaúbas Delicioso in Bahia, Brazil, the project was fully completed 15 December 2013.
Five technologies and 71 solar panels will be studied over two years as part of the project. The five technologies being tested are monocrystalline silicon, multicrystalline silicon, hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films, silicon and microamorfo selenide thin film and thin film modules of copper, gallium and indium. Research will be carried out on the use of wind alongside solar energy generation and the two renewable energy sources’ complementary variables.
Finance was provided from the research and development fund of Brazil’s Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL).
Alessandro Carraro, director of commercial operations for Engeveix, said after two months of operation, the plant is running at 24% capacity, higher than the usual rating of 19 or 20%.
Robert Stadler, project coordinator, said the aim is to identify which PV technology provides the best technical and financial relationship for large solar power plants in Brazil. The research is being conducted by professors from the Federal University of Santa Catarina.
Engevix’s investment arm, Desenvix is hoping to install 30MW of PV at the wind farm in the future, and has already been given approval from ANEEL.
A recent competitive auction for renewable capacity in Brazil saw all solar applications rejected in favour of cheaper wind proposals.