Enel powers up 475MW of auction-backed bifacial solar in Brazil

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The use of bifacial modules could increase energy yield by up to 18%, said the company. Credit: EDPR

The Brazilian renewable energy subsidiary of power giant Enel Group has brought online a 475MW bifacial solar project in Brazil’s northeastern state of Piauí.

Billed as South America's largest PV project, the BRL1.4 billion (US$390 million) São Gonçalo solar PV plant, located in São Gonçalo do Gurguéia, was awarded to Enel in the A-4 power auction of 2017.

Enel is also investing another BRL422 million (US$110 million) in a 133MW extension of the plant, which will bring the overall capacity of São Gonçalo to 608MW. Construction has already started on that section.

The use of bifacial modules could increase energy yield by up to 18%, the company stated in a release. The Brazilian facility also features SF7 bifacial trackers supplied by Spain-headquartered Soltec. 

The plant is designed to be able to generate over 1,200GWh of electricity per year. Out of the 475MW installed, 265MW have 20-year power supply contracts with a pool of distribution companies operating in the country’s regulated market. The remaining 210MW and the 133MW extension will be directly supplied to corporates, in deals negotiated outside of government tenders.

Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power, said: “We will continue to play a key role in the development of Brazil’s photovoltaic sector, which is central to the diversification and resilience of the country’s generation mix.”

In Brazil, Enel has 845MW of solar PV, 782MW of wind power and 1,269MW of hydro in operation, with around 2.1GW more capacity in execution.

EDPR inks PPA for 66MW solar project in Brazil

In a separate PV development in the country, the Brazilian subsidiary of EDP Renewables has secured a 19-year private power purchase agreement for its 66MW Lagoa solar power plant in the Brazilian state of Paraíba.

The project is expected to start operations in 2022 and EDPR’s solar deployment is now set to reach a total of 1.3GW by the same year. EDP bagged US$150 million in loans from the European Investment Bank in September last year to fund solar and wind projects in Brazil.

A feature examining the opportunities and risks of Brazilian and Mexican PV was part of PV Tech Power's Volume 20, which you can subscribe to here.

The prospects and challenges of Latin American solar and storage will take centre stage at Solar Media's Energy Storage Latin America, to be held in Colombia on 28-29 April 2020.

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