Chinese industrial group BYD will initiate production of solar PV modules in Brazil next year.
BYD has secured supply contracts from project developers of large-scale solar power projects and will start production from the middle of next year. The company will invest $50 million in setting up the manufacturing facility. The investment is part of the larger plan by BYD to manufacture electric buses and battery packs for which an additional $63 million will be invested.
The company has so far received supply orders for 400 MW of modules. Of this, 390 MW will be supplied to utility-scale solar power projects, while the balance will be used for rooftop solar power projects.
The modules manufactured will be used in the solar power projects allocated under the solar power auctions organised by the Brazilian government. Some of the projects are believed to be obligated to use domestically manufactured solar PV modules.
In October 2014, the National Electric Energy Agency organised the country’s first solar-only auction, which received an overwhelming response from the developers. Prospective developers placed bids for 400 projects, with a 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 is expected to be sold through 20-year power purchase agreements, with implementation of all the 31 solar power parks requiring a cumulative investment of $1.66 billion from the companies.
Other solar module manufacturers are also planning to make significant investments in the Brazilian market, with SunEdison announcing that it will seek $30 million financing to set up solar module and tracker manufacturing unit.