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Enel works on addition to Latin Americas self-styled largest PV project

Source: 
Bahrain News Agency

Enel has hit yet another deployment milestone with what it bills as Latin Americas biggest solar plant under construction, a project it is building in Brazils northeast.

The firm said this week it has broken ground on a 133MW extension to its So Gonalo solar scheme in the Piau state, one of a growing number worldwide embracing bifacial technology.

The 133MW push, financed by Enels investment of around BRL422 million (US$105 million), comes to join a 475MW first batch the firm started deploying in October 2018.

The overall 608MW solar complex, meant to come online in 2020, will sell its output via arrangements structured on Brazils regulated but also unregulated market.

According to Enel, 265MW of the 608MW total is contracted to a pool of distribution firms, via 20-year PPAs Enel won at Brazils renewable auction of December 2017.

Meanwhile, the remaining 343MW will be directly supplied to corporates, in deals negotiated outside of government tenders.

Once it is up and running in its entirety, So Gonalo is meant to supply an annual 1.5TWh of PV power and slash CO2 emissions by 860,000 tonnes, according to Enel.

Bullish Brazil turns to bifacial

So Gonalo sees Enel join the list of players coming on board bifacial solar worldwide, with Middle East projects making headway with support from development financiers.

The Brazilian facility will feature SF7 bifacial trackers supplied by Spain-headquartered Soltec. The deal, inked in June, is reportedly Soltecs largest so far in the Latin American state.

Construction progress at the 608MW complex in Piau emerges at a propitious time for Brazilian PV more broadly, with utility-scale milestones adding growth to a 2GW-plus ecosystem.

Record-low auction prices and government-sponsored PV schemes have helped push the state, Latin Americas largest economy and energy market, into the global industry spotlight.

As PV Tech found while researching a soon-to-be published feature, funding remains the chief hurdle for projects in the country, with currency volatility complicating the addition of foreign financiers.

As local experts have explained to this publication, some projects are trying to achieve revenue certainty by following the dual approach of Enels So Gonalo, with supply split between government auction contracts and direct deals with corporate buyers.

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