Brazil could open renewable energy auctions to hybrid projects

The bill PLS 107/2017, which was submitted by Senator Hélio José and approved by the Senate’s Committee for Enviroment, will now have to be approved by the Committed for Infrastructure.

Under the new provisions, large-scale renewable energy power plants integrating different technologies will be entitled to participate in Brazil’s energy auctions (leiloes de energia) for the contracting of new generation capacity from clean energy sources.

Moreover, the new rules offer the possibility to expand the capacity of existing renewable energy power plants by the integration of different technologies.

The new law, according to Hélio José, is intended to increase the quota of solar, wind and biomass in the country’s renewable energy mix, which is currently dominated by hydropower.

Brazil’s government-run energy agency Empresa de Pesquisa Energética published a study to assess the country’s potential for hybrid solar-wind power installations in April.

EPE’s study intended to assess the potential of these kind of renewable energy projects after several developers expressed the desire to see a hybrid wind-solar category included in the national power auctions. The study includes, among other things, an analysis of the advantages of these projects in North Eastern Brazil, where the transmission grid has a limited capacity compared to the volume of the proposed wind and solar projects.

The study concludes that the particular characteristics of every geographical area must be taken into account, and that the benefits of every wind-solar project must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The report also highlights that these projects are particularly beneficial for the optimal use of the required land.