Construction begins at Enel's 103 MW PV plant in Brazil

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Solar PV is enjoying a surge of activity in Latin America as of late, no more so than in the continent’s largest country, Brazil. One company making the most of is Enel, through its subsidiary Enel Green Power Brazil, which currently has the largest pipeline of PV capacity of any company in Brazil.

With a number of large-scale projects in development, Enel will be happy that is has broken ground with the 103 MW Horizonte plant, located in Tabocas do Brejo Velho, in the north-eastern state of Bahia. The company is investing a significant US$110 million in the plant, which, once completed, will be able to power over 108,000 Brazilian homes.

The company is constructing the site with the help of another Italian company Enerray. Once the plant is complete, forecasted for the second half of 2017, it will sell the energy that is generated to the Brazilian Chamber of Commercialization of Electric Energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

“With the start of construction of Horizonte, Enel has reached yet another milestone in the implementation of its growth plan in Brazil,” commented Carlo Zorzoli, Enel’s Country Manager in Brazil. “Once again we confirm us as being a reliable energy partner in the Brazilian landscape by actually building sustainable power generation facilities out of the capacity we have been awarded through tenders.”

The large-scale Horizonte solar project was one of three awarded to Enel, along with the 158 MW Lapa and 292 MW Nova Olinda, during a public tender in August 2015. In addition to these, Enel is currently building the 254 MW Ituverava PV plant in Bahia, just next to the Horizonte construction, which means that they will be able to use the same connection infrastructure.

It is an encouraging time for solar in the country, as the sole solar auction of the year in Brazil is coming up in December, with a whopping 13.4 GW of projects already submitted. It is not currently known how much solar will be up for offer during the tender.

The whole industry is encouraging somewhat of a boom in Brazil at the moment, as even PV manufacturing companies are taking another look at the Latin American country. Just last month, Chinese group BYD Company announced that it will open a new PV manufacturing plant, with an annual capacity of 200 MW, in the state of Sao Paulo.