Canadian Solar believes Brazil will run the cancelled wind and solar auction in the first half of 2017. Image: Invest in São Paulo
Brazil’s solar industry will still see strong growth despite the cancellation of the country's only solar and wind auction this year, representatives of ‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) member Canadian Solar have told PV Tech.
Canadian Solar is one one of the only major PV manufacturers to have a facility up and running in the South American country, having recently inaugurated a 350MW to 400MW module assembly plant in Sao Paolo and having already secured more than 330MW of solar projects through previous auctions.
Brazil’s energy agency EPE recently explained that the latest renewables auction was cancelled due to a reduction in energy demand along with a worsening macroeconomic outlook.
However, Thomas Koerner, Canadian Solar vice president of global sales, module and system solutions, said the company does not foresee an impact on its current activities or local production.
He added: “We are still seeing a total auction volume pipeline of approximately 2.6GW to be executed and constructed. In addition, we believe that the Brazilian government will run the at this point cancelled auction by Q1 2017, if not latest by Q2 2017.
“Brazil and South America in general is a strategic market for Canadian Solar and we will continue and maintain our sales and development activities as planned in this region."
However, Hugo Albuquerque, Canadian Solar's director and general manager sales, Central and South America, module and system solutions business, also said that the cancellation news did come as a surprise and receiving such news on the eve of the auction “may alienate international investors”. However, Canadian Solar is also well aware of the difficult period that Brazil is going through both economically and politically and the firm will ratify its “commitment to continue investing in Brazil”.
The company still believes the Brazil market will grow quickly, along with a vastly expanding distributed generation market.
Last week, Rodrigo Sauaia, the head of Brazil's PV association, Absolar, said that the cancellation had been met by the industry "with perplexity".
Since then, Brazil’s development bank BNDES and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have approved a US$750 million conditional credit facility for the country’s Sustainable Energy Financing Program.
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