EDF, Canadian Solar receive financing for 399 MW (DC) Brazilian PV project


Chinese-Canadian manufacturer Canadian Solar Inc. and EDF Renewables, a unit of French energy provider EDF, have secured BRL 1.39 billion (US$373 million) for the 399 MW (DC) Pirapora solar complex in Brazil.

The two companies said in a joint press release that the project’s first 191.5 MW section, the Pirapora I plant, secured funds of 220 million BRL ($59 million) from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the IDB Group. These new funds will add to those secured by the two companies in August 2017, a 529 million BRL ($142 million) loan awarded by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).

Furthermore, Brazil-based Banco do Nordeste and the Northeast Constitutional Fund have agreed to provide 366 million BRL ($99 million) in funds for the second section of the Pirapora complex, which has a capacity of 115 MW. The two companies also revealed that the Brazilian National Climate Fund and the BNDES have awarded them another 271 million BRL ($73 million) for the project’s third section of 92.5 MW.

The Pirapora I and Pirapora III plants were connected to the Brazilian grid at the end of 2017, while Pirapora II came online this summer.

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The joint press release, which states that EDF owns 80% of the complex and Canadian Solar 20%, made no mention of the transaction where Brazilian hydro and wind power operator, Omega Geração S.A. agreed to acquire a 50% interest in the project. This may be due to the fact that this operation is not yet finalized, and that approval from relevant Brazilian authorities is still pending.

EDF acquired an 80% interest in both Pirapora plants from Canadian solar, as well as in the remaining Pirapora II project, last year.

All three of the plants rely on solar modules provided by Canadian Solar, which also owns and operates a 380 MW PV module factory near Sao Paulo. Solar projects that use locally manufactured PV components can gain access to the financing of the Brazilian development bank, BNDES.

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