Brazilian state buys 122MW of solar

Germany’s Sowitec, Italy’s Enel Green Power (EGP) and Chinese-Spanish consortium Sun Premier Holding Participações have emerged as the foreign players to be awarded capacity in a PV auction in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, the country’s first solar-exclusive tender.

Overall, northeastern Pernambuco state awarded 122MW of capacity at an average price of R$229 ($96) per MWh, some 9% lower than the price ceiling imposed on the auction.

Sowitec, historically a wind developer with significant exposure to Latin America, won the single largest project, at 30MW, while Sun Premier Holding Participações took home a 29.75MW project.

EGP says that it won two projects totalling 11MW, Fonte Solar 1 and 2, which will be connected to the same substation as its under-construction Fonte dos Ventos wind farm in the state.

Local players Kroma Energia and Cone Concierge round out the list of winners, all of which will have 18 months to complete their projects.

Pernambuco’s auction represents a significant milestone for Brazil, which currently has just 20MW of installed PV, with the technology historically taking a backseat to wind, hydro and biomass among Brazilian renewables.

However, interest in the country is growing among solar players, and last month China’s Hanergy revealed plans to build a module factory in Rio Grande do Sul state.

With the five projects expected to result in R$597m of investments into Pernambuco, Governor Eduardo Campos said he aims to establish a solar industry "cluster" in the state, following the path forged by the wind business in Brazil.

Separately, EGP said it will build a 1.2MW PV system to partially provide the energy it needs for construction efforts at three hydro projects in the state of Mato Grosso.