BYD inaugurates $47m solar panel factory in Brazil

Chinese renewable energy and storage developer BYD last week inaugurated a solar panel factory in Brazilian city Campinas.

With an investment of R$150 million (US$47.67 million), the facility will boast a total production capacity of 200 MW once fully operational, providing up to 360 jobs, BYD claims.

The company’s double-glass modules will be produced on site, as will an automated electric bus chassis production line, which is located at the same complex and will be capable of delivering 720 chassis per year.

BYD states that its module and electric vehicle output makes the facility one of Brazil’s first zero ecosystem projects, and its inauguration marks the first of many investments by the Chinese firm in Brazil’s clean energy sector.

“Our goal is to bring the world’s best technology to Brazil, creating new jobs and generating innovation on the country,” said BYD Brazil general manager Tyler Li. “With local production we will help consolidate the distribution and generation markets.”

Local development manager Marcos Caderllini added that the proportion of local technology used in the company’s production of electric vehicles and solar panels will gradually increase over the years. “We aim to broaden this proportion from 20% to 70% by 2022,” Caderllini said.

Brazil’s solar sector has endured a stop-start existence in the past few years, but there now appears to be sustained gusto among both national and international players to see the sector shine. Last week local EPC firm WEG confirmed plans to build two PV plants in eastern Brazil comprising 62 MW of capacity, while official data published by the government showed that the nation’s net metering scheme had now driven 70 MW of solar installations.