Brazilian PV system provider and system integrator Renovigi is building a PV system assembly factory at the Port of Pecém, in the state of Ceará, in northeastern Brazil.
The factory, which is expected to be built at a cost of BRL150 million ($29 million), will be tested through pilot production in 2021 and should begin manufacturing activities in 2022. The company plans to reach an assembly rate of 600 systems per month at the new plant, which will assemble systems mostly with monocrystalline panels with a power output of between 400 and 500 W.
The company already operates two production units in Itajaí, in the state of Santa Catarina, and in Louveira, in São Paulo, where it integrates complete photovoltaic systems which are then distributed among its more-than-9,000 accredited installers. The factories use modules supplied by Risen, JA Solar, Canadian Solar, Sunshine, Talesun, and BYD.
Renovigi sought to diversify its pool of suppliers during 2020, when restrictions were imposed by Covid-19. For the time being, there is no forecast for the local manufacture of the modules, explains the president of Renovigi, Gustavo Müller Martins. “We are always looking at the possibility of bringing a module factory here to Brazil,” he stressed. “But it may make sense if the country adopts a strategic policy.”
He also stressed that Renovigi is also buying modules produced in Brazil from Chinese manufacturer BYD, which owns and operates a panel factory in São Paulo, albeit in relatively small quantities, when the client intends to use BNDES financing to fund the purchase of the systems.
With a business focused on distributed generation, the systems assembled and distributed by Renovigi have relatively low power. “Each system is assembled according to the demand of our customers,” Martins said. “It can vary from 1 kW to 30 kW but most of our sales are for installations between 10 kW and 20 kW.”
Renovigi currently serves the north and northeast markets from the São Paulo plant. The regions correspond to just over one-sixth of the country's distributed generation capacity, totaling 1.5 GW. The regions represent 22% of Renovigi's sales in the country and the intention is to reach 30% by the end of next year, with the expansion of the accredited network that resells the photovoltaic systems integrated by the company.
According to the company's president, the port of Suape, in Pernambuco, was also in the running to receive the new factory. But the existence of a state policy for the development of renewable energies ended up weighing more in the choice of Ceará as a destination for investments.
Author: Livia Neves
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