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SkyFuel, Braxenergy to link CSP plants with biomass in Brazil

US parabolic trough maker SkyFuel and energy group Braxenergy have signed an agreement to bring concentrating solar power (CSP) to the Brazilian market, deploying it in conjunction with biomass.

The first project expected to be built is the 50MW Coremas plant in Northeastern Brazil using the CSP company's “SkyTrough" system.

The Coremas plants will generate electricity from the sun during the day, and use coconut waste biomass at night or during cloudy periods.

As an added economic benefit to the region, vegetable-producing greenhouses will be built between rows of collectors, which will be spaced 18-metres apart to avoid shading.

Braxenergy’s chief executive, Helcio Camarinha, says that “the economics for thermosolar in Brazil look very good, especially using the SkyTrough,” although recent energy prices have hovered in the R$100/MWh ($63) range, far below what is normally required for solar projects.

Braxenergy has a portfolio of more than 3GW of small hydro, wind, biomass and biogas projects that it has developed in Brazil.