Brazil’s Petrobras enters solar energy business

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It seems that not a week has gone by in recent months, where some global oil major or another hasn’t unveiled plans to invest in clean energy.

This time, Brazilian oil giant, Petrobras has annouced it will join forces with strategic ally, France-based Total, and its renewable energy subsidiary, Total Eren, to invest in solar and on-shore wind in Brazil.

The three entities signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to assess the joint business development in solar and wind in the Brazilian market, which follows a strategic partnership agreement sealed by Total and Petrobras in February 2017. At that time, the two companies agreed to evaluate potential areas of cooperation.

“The main benefits in developing a partnership of this kind are the dilution of risks related to the renewable energies business in Brazil and potential economies of scale and synergies,” said Petrobras in a statement released today.

Under the agreement signed in March 2017, Petrobras agreed to sell around $2 billion in oil and thermal power generation assets to the French oil company.

Petrobras currently owns and operates around 6.8 GW of power generation assets. These comprise 34 thermoelectric, wind, and hydroelectric power plants, with thermoelectric accounting for the largest share. The company is also developing a 1.1 MW PV system at one of its facilities in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte.

Including Petrobras, the list of oil companies going solar now comprises, among others, Repsol, Shell, Total, Eni, Norway’s Statoil, Hungary’s Mol, Oman’s PDO, and Jamaica’s PJC.