Canadian Solar manufacturing facility inaugurated in Sao Paulo

The manufacturing facility, which was built by Canadian Solar in collaboration with Flex Energy in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, was inaugurated on Thursday. The governor of Sao Paulo Geraldo Alckim attended the opening event of the largest solar module facility in Brazil.

The production capacity of the facility stands at about 400 MW, with investment in the project amounting to 80 million Brazilian Reals (USD 24 million), according to a regional government statement.

The modules that are manufactured at the site will be used for Canadian Solar PV plants, as well as other projects. “Canadian Solar has a solar project portfolio of 390 MW in Brazil that should commence commercial operation in 2017 and 2018,” said the President and CEO of Canadian Solar Shawn Qu, during the inauguration ceremony. “The new factory will supply its products to our projects and the domestic market.”

The creation of the factory was supported by the Investment and Export Promotion Agency of the State Government of Sao Paulo (Investe Sao Paulo) and the Brazilian Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investments (Apex-Brasil). It is estimated that 2,000 direct and indirect jobs will be generated as a result of the project.

“Brazil is now a year out of the crisis, and one of the development strategies for the future is solar energy," commented Alckim. A considerable part of the Brazilian solar industry is concentrated in Sao Paulo.

This project is the largest PV module factory inaugurated in Brazil. To date, five smaller module manufacturing facilities, accredited to a local content program have been, set up, according to the Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES). The largest of these plants is the Globo Solar facility also located in the state of Sao Paulo. Additionally, concrete plans are in place for various other module factories, including a BYD plant.

The growth of the solar industry within the country has been stimulated by local content measures that have been introduced. Many of the solar plants that have been successful in the tenders will include solar modules manufactured in Brazil, as part of a BNDES financing program in line with local content requirements. Since 2014, the contracting of solar plants has been done through national tender programs in Brazil.

This article was originally published on pv magazine LatAm. It has been translated by Sam Pothecary.