Brazil is Latin America’s largest renewable energy market. Today, nearly 76 percent of its electricity is generated from renewable sources. Its renewable energy ambition doesn’t stop there, as the country forecasts to bring up to 7 gigawatts of solar generation capacity online by 2024. Compared to the current solar power generation capacity, at just above 300 MW, the growth potential is enormous.
“We have strong ambition for Brazil’s solar market. We are seeking technology partners that will help us keep our global competitiveness as an integrated photovoltaic solar power developer, producer and operator,” said Marcelo Taulois, Brazil country manager, Scatec Solar. “GE has a proven track record in the solar industry, and its 1,500-volt converter solution presents visible value levers for the plant development. We look forward to partnering with GE to unleash the solar power in Brazil.”
“Brazil is one of our core countries to grow the solar business footprint. Winning this order will further strengthen our position in the utility-scale solar market in the country,” said Patrick Fetzer, CEO, solar, GE’s Power Conversion business. “We are pleased to be chosen by Scatec Solar, and we hope this solar project will open up avenues for more collaborations with them in the near future.”
The skid solution will feature GE’s 1,500-volt 1.1-MWac LV5 solar inverters, which require less cables, string boxes and associated infrastructure for the inverter stations’ installation. Thanks to the higher voltage, the inverter solution is also more efficient compared to its 1,000-volt peers. It can reduce up to 3 percent of system costs and save up to 15 percent in inverter operating expenses.
GE was also the first company to have introduced 1,500-volt solar inverters to the Brazilian market that are accredited under Brazil’s Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES)’s Finame program. The accreditation means the product is compliant with the government’s 60 percent local content requirement and will allow GE’s customers to get BNDES and Brazil’s Northeast Bank financing at more attractive interest rates. The equipment built for Scatec Solar’s plants will be manufactured in GE’s factory in Brazil.
The 162-MW solar project was awarded in the auction process held by Brazil’s National Electric Power Regulator, the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency, in 2015.