Brazil’s first solar-plus-storage power plant to come online

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Brazil’s Minas Gerais-based power company, Compañía Energética de Minas Gerais S.A. (CEMIG), the fourth largest energy company in the country, and Brazilian renewable energy developer Alsol Energias Renováveis, a unit of local conglomerate Grupo Algar, have commissioned a 1 MW solar-plus-storage power plant in Uberlândia, in the northern part of the state of Minas Gerais.

According to a press release from the state government, the project, which is part of an R&D program run by Brazil’s energy regulator Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica (Aneel), was developed thanks to an investment of around BRL 22.7 million ($6.2 million), of which BRL 17.5 million was provided by CEMIG, while the remaining BRL 5.2 million BRL was provided by Alsol.

The project includes a 300 kW PV installation, a 1 MW storage system, and other unspecified storage system prototypes developed by the local university Universidade Federal da Paraíba and the research center Instituto Federal do Rio Grande do Norte. More technical details about the project, however, were not disclosed.

“We are now providing a creative and positive solution to the bottleneck created by the development of PV in our region,” said State Governor Eduardo Pimentel at the commissioning ceremony of the facility.

Minas Gerais boasts the highest penetration of solar in Brazil. According to a recent study released by the government-run agency Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE), the region, and in particular its northern and north-western areas where most of the large-scale projects selected in last years’ auctions are concentrated, require improvements to the grid in order to make the construction of these plants viable. The EPE forecasts that Minas Gerais will have an installed PV capacity of around 1,862 MW by 2025.

CEMIG increased its efforts to become a clean energy provider in mid-April, when it will hold its own auction for large-scale wind and solar power projects.