Enel works on addition to Latin America’s self-styled largest PV project

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
(Image credit: Enel)

Enel has hit yet another deployment milestone with what it bills as Latin America’s biggest solar plant under construction, a project it is building in Brazil’s northeast.

The firm said this week it has broken ground on a 133MW extension to its São Gonçalo solar scheme in the Piauí state, one of a growing number worldwide embracing bifacial technology.

The 133MW push, financed by Enel’s investment of around BRL422 million (US$105 million), comes to join a 475MW first batch the firm started deploying in October 2018.

The overall 608MW solar complex, meant to come online in 2020, will sell its output via arrangements structured on Brazil’s regulated but also unregulated market.

According to Enel, 265MW of the 608MW total is contracted to a pool of distribution firms, via 20-year PPAs Enel won at Brazil’s renewable auction of December 2017.

Meanwhile, the remaining 343MW will be directly supplied to corporates, in deals negotiated outside of government tenders.

Once it is up and running in its entirety, São Gonçalo is meant to supply an annual 1.5TWh of PV power and slash CO2 emissions by 860,000 tonnes, according to Enel.

Bullish Brazil turns to bifacial

São Gonçalo sees Enel join the list of players coming on board bifacial solar worldwide, with Middle East projects making headway with support from development financiers.

The Brazilian facility will feature SF7 bifacial trackers supplied by Spain-headquartered Soltec. The deal, inked in June, is reportedly Soltec’s largest so far in the Latin American state.

Construction progress at the 608MW complex in Piauí emerges at a propitious time for Brazilian PV more broadly, with utility-scale milestones adding growth to a 2GW-plus ecosystem.

Record-low auction prices and government-sponsored PV schemes have helped push the state, Latin America’s largest economy and energy market, into the global industry spotlight.

As PV Tech found while researching a soon-to-be published feature, funding remains the chief hurdle for projects in the country, with currency volatility complicating the addition of foreign financiers.  

As local experts have explained to this publication, some projects are trying to achieve revenue certainty by following the dual approach of Enel’s São Gonçalo, with supply split between government auction contracts and direct deals with corporate buyers.

A feature examining the opportunities and risks of Brazilian and Mexican PV will be part of PV Tech Power’s Volume 20, scheduled for publication around September 2019. Subscribe for free now

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.

Read Next

April 14, 2021
While recent solar auctions in Spain and Portugal have made headlines with low prices and high levels of participation, the power purchase agreement market will be key to helping both countries reach their 2030 solar deployment targets, it was suggested during a panel discussion.
April 9, 2021
LONGi Solar will supply its high-efficiency modules to two projects in Malaysia totalling 190MW that were awarded in the third round of country’s large-scale solar tender programme.
March 31, 2021
Renewables investor Cubico Sustainable Investments has completed its acquisition of a European 272MW solar power platform called Grupo T-Solar from I Squared Capital.
March 30, 2021
Local authorities in New South Wales, Australia, have given French independent power producer Neoen the green light to develop a large scale solar-plus-storage production facility in the region despite receiving 50 complaints from members of the public.
March 23, 2021
Scatec has unveiled a NOK 100 billion (US$11.7 billion) plan that will see the company expand its renewables portfolio to 15GW over the next four years.
March 22, 2021
Malaysia’s installed solar capacity is expected to increase fourfold by 2030, driven by a successful tender policy and improved financing incentives, according to a new report from Fitch Solutions.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
April 28, 2021
4:00 - 4:30 PM CET
Solar Media Events
May 11, 2021