Brazil will hold its second regional solar power auction

Brazil State to Have Solar Auction as It Seeks Local Panel Plant.

Brazil will hold its second regional solar energy auction amid an effort to spur local panel manufacturing.

Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil, is finalizing the rules for the November auction, Guilherme Augusto Duarte de Faria, superintendent of the state’s Economic Development Secretary, said in a phone interview yesterday. The state will set a ceiling of about 260 reais ($111) a megawatt-hour for the auction, which will involve 15-year contracts for power.

“We want to take advantage of the improving environment for solar energy development in Brazil,” said Faria. “The idea is to have solar panel manufacturing plants in the state.”

Brazil gets less than 1 percent of its electricity from solar power and the government wants to diversify its energy mix. Pernambuco state held the nation’s first solar energy auction last year. On Oct. 31, Brazil will hold the first national energy auction with a specific category for photovoltaic projects, for which developers applied to sell more than 10 gigawatts of capacity.

Developers must buy photovoltaic modules made in Minas Gerais for the November auction. According to Faria, five developers have expressed interest in participating and three panel manufacturers are in advanced talks to build a plant in the state. Brazilian utility Cia. Energetica de Minas Gerais will buy the solar energy.