Solar wins 166MW in latest Brazilian renewables auction

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The next renewable tender will be held in 16 September 2022 with more than 55GW of solar PV registered. Image: Matheus Câmara da Silva / Unsplash.

Solar projects worth 166MW of capacity have won out in Brazil’s latest renewables auction, energy regulator EPE has confirmed.

The A-4 new energy auction (“Leilões de Energia Nova” in Portuguese) has awarded a total of 947.9MW of renewable energy with thermoelectric energy taking 409MW between two projects, while only five solar PV have been awarded.

This comes despite solar projects outnumbering other technologies. Around 51GW of solar projects entered the auction, more than double the capacities from wind, hydro and biomass combined.

The total auction figure of 75.25GW was a record for Brazil’s renewables auction programme.

Solar PV and wind projects competed against each other in a unique category in a framework designed to make prices more competitive between the technologies, which will be “beneficial” for the consumers, wrote the energy regulator EPE.

The average price for the tender reached BRL258/MWh (US$54.27/MWh), driven up by thermoelectric biomass and hydroelectric.

Solar PV was the cheapest renewable source with an average of BRL178.24/MWh (US$37.49/MWh).

Both the average price for the tender and solar PV have increased compared to the previous renewable tender in September 2021, with solar PV reaching BRL166.9/MWh at the time.

Winners in both solar PV and wind will have a 15-year contract with all renewable projects for this auction set to be operational by January 2026.

High demand for next renewable auction

The Brazilian energy regulator also released the report of registrations for the next tender to be held in 16 September 2022 which continues to be in high demand, especially from the solar side.

Once again, numbers exceeded previous tender offers with a total of 83GW for the A-5 renewable auction, of which 55.8GW alone comes from solar PV (see chart below for the location) and more than half of the 2.044 applications came from that renewable resource.

Another tender, the A-6 will also be held at the same time but without solar PV projects being able to participate in it, which has been replaced by natural gas.

Between both auctions, there have been a total of 2104 unique projects for an offer of 114GW, as some projects have been presented for both auctions.

Minas Gerais is the region with the highest bids for solar PV with almost a fourth of total demand (14GW), and with the northeastern regions such as Bahia and Piauí with most of the rest of the solar PV demand.

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