Enel brings online 546 MW of solar projects in Brazil

Italian developer Enel’s subsidiary Enel Green Power Brasil Participações (EGPB) has begun operation of a total of 546 MW of solar capacity in Brazil – Ituverava (254 MW) located in Bahia and Nova Olinda (292 MW) located in Piauí state, which are expected to produce over 1,150 GWh per year once fully operational.

Both solar parks are supported by a 20-year power purchase agreement inked with the Brazilian Chamber of Commercialization of Electric Energy.

“The start of operation of Nova Olinda and Ituverava is a major milestone for our presence in Brazil, since it confirms our leadership in the country’s photovoltaic market, as well as our commitment and ability to quickly and efficiently deliver the projects we are awarded”, stated Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel Green Power. “With our projects and expertise, we can boost the development of Brazil’s photovoltaic sector with the aim of further strengthening the increasingly key role that solar power is playing in the diversification of the country’s generation mix and in meeting its growing energy needs”.

After Enel won the development contracts for both farms under Brazil’s auction process held in August 2015, it managed to secure substantial financing for the endeavors, while also relying on its own coffers.

As part of the investments foreseen in the company’s current strategic plan, Enel invested approximately $300 million in the construction of Nova Olinda, coming from Enel Group’s own resources, as well as a long-term financing provided by Banco do Nordeste.

Construction of the 254 MW Ituverava solar plant required an investment of around $400 million, also foreseen in Enel Group’s current strategic plan. In addition to the Group’s own resources, Ituverava was backed by a long-term financing provided by Bank of China and Santander, backed by China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) and guaranteed by Enel.

Undoubtedly, 2017 stands out as the banner year for Brazilian PV capacity, which is growing at an unprecedented pace. According to provisional statistics provided by the country’s Ministry of Mines and Energy, cumulative installed PV capacity reached 273 MW at the end of June, including 145 MW that came from large-scale solar plants, with another 530.4 MW of PV plants awarded in the auctions expected to come online by the end of 2017, and a further 1.34 GW to be connected to the grid in 2018.

The Italian developer’s solar footprint in Brazil follows suit. In addition to two freshly commissioned solar plants, the company switched on two more projects with the accumulated capacity of 158 MW earlier in June – the Bom Jesus da Lapa (80 MW) and Lapa (78 MW) projects.

According to Enel, its Brazil-based subsidiaries EGPB and Enel Brasil have a total installed renewable capacity of around 2,276 MW, of which 670 MW from wind power, 716 MW from solar PV and 890 MW from hydropower, as well as close to 275 MW of capacity currently in construction, of which 172 MW from wind and 103 MW from solar power.