The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) has approved a BRL 529 million ($168.4 million) financing for the construction of the Pirapora solar plant. It is the first loan approved by the BNDES in the frame of its program to support solar and renewables.
The BNDES said that the 150 MW (AC) project, which is currently being developed by French utility EDF and Chinese-Canadian module manufacturer Canadian Solar, will be located in the state of Minas Gerais, but that it will use PV components manufactured in the state of Sao Paulo. The BNDES, in fact, is granting funds only to PV projects developed with locally manufactured components.
Construction on the plant started in October, while completion is expected for August 2018. The project was selected in the solar energy auction held by the Brazilian government in 2015. The plant will sell power to the local grid at 298.58 BRL ($95.1)/MWh.
The plant will be built in the municipality of Pirapora and will consist of five 30 MW sub-units. Canadian Solar, which operates a module factory in Sao Paulo, will provide 594.750 panels for the project.
Currently, Brazil has installed PV capacity of 100 MW. Most of this power, however, is represented by residential and commercial PV systems installed under Brazil’s net metering scheme. This year, however, a considerable amount of large-scale PV capacity is expected to come online. Overall, the Brazilian government has allocated 3 GW of PV power in its solar and renewable energy auctions.