Brazil’s largest solar panel manufacturing facility will be inaugurated on Friday (28 August) by manufacturer Globo Brazil, providing a major boost towards financing domestic PV projects.
The 180MW capacity factory in Valinhos, São Paulo, will be able to produce 2,000 solar panels per day. Globo Brazil said it is generating around 240 direct jobs and will create further indirect jobs via Brazil's emerging solar industry.
GTM Research solar analyst Adam James told PV Tech that manufacturing in Brazil until now has been on a very small scale and the new large-scale factory announcement is significant for financing reasons.
James said: “There are several companies that have secured tenders from the Brazilian government to build [solar] power plants, but the financing for their projects is from the National Development Bank.
“The [rates they receive] from the National Development Nank, [are] based upon the use of local content, so having local content developed in Brazil is actually essential to the development of many of the projects that have won tenders so far.”
James added that there have been around eight to 10 announcements of plans for other factories in Brazil recently, but no definitive sign of construction as yet.
Flávio Manuel Coelho, attorney, Globo Brazil, said: “The Brazilian energy matrix, fuelled mainly by hydroelectric and thermoelectric plants, is disabled and has an extremely high cost. Inserting a solar source will allow Brazilians to have access to energy at lower costs and with increasing security.”
Indeed, drought led to a shortage of energy in Brazil earlier this year due to its dependence on hydroelectric power.
The news of the factory installation comes just after the Brazilian government's Energy Research Agency (EPE) announced it had chosen 341 solar projects with a combined capacity of 11.26GW to compete at its First Energy Reserve Auction, which will also be held on 28 August. Sao Paulo has a potential 30 projects with a combined capacity of 1.1GW. The state of Bahia had the highest potential with 125 projects of 4GW combined capacity.
Back in July, EPE also registered 649 solar projects totalling 20.9GW capacity for is Second Reserve Energy Auction scheduled for 13 November this year.
The Brazilian Association of Photovoltaic Solar Energy (Absolar) recently signed an agreement with the Brazilian Agency for Export and Investment Promotion (Apex-Brazil) to partner on attracting more foreign investment into the domestic solar industry and give more visibility to opportunities available in the Brazilian PV market for manufacturers and PV developers.