Brazil solar prices plummet but PV likely to struggle in upcoming all-energy auction

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Brazil’s Energy Research Company (EPE) announced this week 179 solar power projects, totalling 4.872GW are to bid for tenders in the upcoming national A-5 energy auction.

For the A-5 auction, 821 projects, with over 29GW of proposed generation are to compete but solar could still struggle to compete despite recent cost reductions.

Out of the 821 projects, 179 projects are solar power plants, totalling 4.87GW while 577 are wind projects, totalling more than 14GW.

The auction is for energy generation projects to supply Brazil’s energy market by 2019.

The solar only, Reserve energy auction held 31 October has already ensured the commissioning of 31 solar power projects, totaling 889.6 MW. 

The price fell from the starting price of BR$262 per MWh to a final average price of BR$215 per MWh. Wind projects averaged US$46/MWh in last year's A-5 auction however.

The state of Bahia has the most wind and PV project with 209 wind and 107 solar projects proposed.

The A-5 auction has wind, solar, hydropower, biomass, natural gas and coal projects bidding for national tenders, the auction will be held on November 28.

Last year solar had no success in Brazil’s A-5 energy auction with wind projects undercutting it.

Already the solar-only Reserve Energy Auction, held on October 31, attracted investments of BR$7.1 billion, which will be used in the construction of 31 projects of solar energy and, 31 wind energy projects.

The Reserve auction lasted eight hours, with “fierce competition” for the solar only segment, according to the EPE. 

According to EPE chairman, Maurício Tolmasquim, the initial price of solar energy has undergone a discount of 17.9% during the auction.

“The hiring of solar energy for less than US$90 per MWh leaves Brazil among countries with the lowest price for this source,” said Tolmasquim. 

The successful 31 Reserve auction solar projects will have a total installed capacity of 889.6MW.

The states of Rio Grande do Norte and São Paulo had the most solar power projects bids.

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