Lightsource BP acquires 1.9 GW of Brazilian solar projects


U.K. based developer Lightsource BP has announced a major move into Brazilian solar, with the acquisition of almost 2 GW of PV projects from Enerlife. Financial details of the deal, which will almost double the size of Lightsource BP's project portfolio, were not disclosed.

The transaction will see Enerlife CEO Miguel Lobo and other senior executives move to Lightsource to continue managing the portfolio in question.

The 1.9 GW is spread across an undisclosed number of projects all over Brazil and in various stages of development. The portfolio includes 180 MW of distributed generation capacity – made up of arrays with no more than 5 MW capacity each – and 440 MW of utility scale projects described by the purchaser as auction-ready or in late stage development.

“This move creates a very firm footprint for us across the region and bringing the Enerlife team on board significantly enhances our local capability and experience,” said Lightsource BP Group chief operating officer Kareen Boutonnat. “These are the building blocks of which we will grow a very successful solar business across Brazil.”

Executive switch

The acquisition is the company’s first major move in Brazil, having announced plans to enter the market in November. Mario Lindenhayn, head of country for Brazil at Lightsource BP 43% shareholder BP (formerly British Petroleum Company) said at the time that his expectation of a 60% increase in energy consumption in the country, alongside a 47% share for renewables by 2040 were the key reasons for moving into Brazilian solar.

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“Whilst we have identified an incredible opportunity in Brazil,” said Vlasios Souflis, director for international business development for Lightsource BP, “we need to ensure we have the right capability on the ground to realize our ambitions.” The executives joining Lightsource from Enerlife are said to have more than 50 years’ combined experience in developing PV projects in Brazil and other Latin American countries, as well as in Europe and the United States.

“I am personally looking forward to growing and progressing further with the solid financial backing, wide experience and extensive procurement and supply chain relationships afforded by Lightsource BP,” said former Enerlife CEO Lobo, now director of business development at Lightsource. “This is the next step in putting solar firmly on the Brazilian energy map.”

World record solar price

That has arguably already taken place with an auction last week achieving a world record low solar power price of $0.0175/kWh from 211 MW of new generation capacity. Earlier this year the country’s Ministry of Mines and Energy provided much needed clarity to the sector, laying out a clear schedule of auctions in which solar will be able to participate up to 2021.

The acquisition made by Lightsource BP is further evidence of international players taking note of developments in Brazilian solar. Elsewhere, Trina Solar announced a partnership with Brazilian supplier Aldo Solar earlier this week to ship modules for the country’s distributed generation segment.

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