Brazil’s BNDES reduces interest rate for loans for large-scale solar from 1.7% to 0.9%

The Brazilian Development Bank, BNDES, has reduced the interest rate for loans it will award to solar energy projects from 1.7% to 0.9%.  The bank said the same reduction will be also granted to other, unspecified,  projects in the areas of public safety, innovation, environment, sanitation, solid waste treatment and professional qualification.

The main changes, BNDES said in its statement, will be the lengthening of the repayment period, the calculation of the limits of its participation in accordance with the total investment, and the reduction of the credit spread.

The financing of PV power plants by BNDES is linked to compliance with local content requirements.

In November, BNDES improved conditions for the financing of projects that will compete in Brazil’s power auctions. At the time, the Brazilian Development Bank said its maximum participation in the financing of projects will be 80% for all competing technologies.

This represents the most relevant aspect of the new rules, as in the previous auctions, the participation of BNDES in the financing of projects was 80% exclusively for PV, while wind energy received 70%, and hydroelectric and thermal projects received barely 50%.

Furthermore, BNDES stressed that developers will be able to choose between three types of interest rates: a long-term interest rate, called TJLP (Taxa de Juros de Longo Prazo); a different type of long-term rate, called TLP (Taxa de Longo Prazo); and another rate called IPCA currency (National Price Index for Consumer Amplo).

The Brazilian government will hold the next A-4 auction including solar PV on April 4. It will also announce in mid-March if PV will be included in the A-6 auction, scheduled to be held next summer.