Minas Gerais, the south-eastern state of Brazil, has announced that it will start auctions of solar photovoltaic power plants later this year.
The state government recently announced that it will facilitate auction of large-scale solar power projects in August. It will also support the development of these projects by investing $324 million into the project projects which are expected to be commissioned in 2017.
The financial support is not expected to be limited to the solar power projects but the government may also support development of solar PV modules manufacturing units in the state.
The media reports did not clarify whether these auctions would be different from the national solar power auction held last year. In October 2014, the National Electric Energy Agency organised country’s first solar-only auction and it received an overwhelming response from the developers.
Prospective developers placed bids for 400 projects with total generation capacity of about 10 GW. A total of 31 solar power parks were finally auctioned to developers representing 1,048 MW capacity. The power generated from the projects would be sold through 20-year power purchase agreements. Implementation of all the 31 solar power parks would require a cumulative investment of $1.66 billion from the companies.
Brazil has become a highly attractive market with leading global developers like Enel Green Power and SunEdison looking to aggressively expand their footprint in this emerging market.
Brazil is heavily dependent on hydro power projects. A huge majority of its electricity comes from large hydro power projects which have been controversial for their adverse environmental effects. The Brazilian government, however, is looking to push into other renewable energy technologies as well. Earlier this year, a floating solar PV power project of 350 MW capacity on the Balbina hydroelectric plant was announced. Once commissioned, the project would among the largest floating solar power projects in the world.
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