Central Bank of Brazil wants to buy power through solar leasing

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Latin America’s largest bank, Banco do Brasil SA, will tomorrow launch the first two of three auctions to enable it to procure power from leased solar plants.

The bank said it intends to buy electricity for 96 of its agencies in the Federal District, which hosts the capital Brasilia, and in the states of Goiás and Pará. The bank estimates savings of BRL20 million ($4.9 million) could be made from its electricity bill.

In the Federal District the lender expects to contract around 4 GWh of solar electricity per year. In each of the other two states the bank intends to buy 2 GWh. All of the power generated by the solar facilities will be injected into the power network, Banco do Brazil said in a statement, and its value will then be deducted from the bank’s energy bills, in accordance with net metering rules. In Brazil, net metering applies to all solar systems with a generation capacity of up to 5 MW.

Tomorrow

“Public calls will take place by electronic trading on September 10, at 8.30am for the Federal District, and at 12.30pm for Pará; with Goiás being held on September 11 at 9.30am,” the bank stated.

Solar leasing became an option in Brazil in 2015 when electricity regulator ANEEL introduced provisions making it possible. The rules enable businesses and public bodies without space to host solar to lease a fraction of a PV plant owned by a third party and consume part of the power it generates.

Banco do Brasil said it had already conducted similar exercises for its 200 agencies in the state of Minas Gerais – where energy is costly – in July last year and two months ago.

“The first plant, located in Porteirinha, will be ready by the end of this year while the second is under contract,” the bank said. “Together, the two contracts total BRL88.3 billion and will generate 58% savings in energy tariffs.”