Solatio won 40,5% of the Solar Auction in Brazil

The Brazilian power developers Solatio Energia and Renova Energia SA (RNEW11), along withItaly’s Enel Green Power, were the biggest winners in Brazil’s first power auction with a specific category for photovoltaic projects.

The three companies won contracts to deliver more than 70 percent of the solar capacity awarded in the event, the Sao Paulo-based electricity trading board CCEE said in an e-mailed statement today.

A total of 1,048 megawatts of solar projects won contracts in the Oct. 31 auction. The power plants will require about 4.15 billion reais ($1.66 billion) of investment.

“The auction was a success,” Pedro Vaquer, director of Solatio Energia, said by e-mail today. The company received contracts for 12 solar farms in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states, with total capacity of 440 megawatts, he said.

Solatio will invest about 1.6 billion reais in Brazil solar farms over the next three years, according to CCEE.

Companies competed for 20-year contracts to sell electricity from projects that must go into operation by October 2017. The country is seeking to promote wider use of photovoltaic systems as part of an effort to diversify its energy supplies as the worst drought in eight decades reduces power output from dams.

Enel Green Power won contracts for seven solar farms, with 254 megawatts of capacity, it said today in an e-mailed statement. The investments in the Ituverava complex, in the northeastern state of Bahia, will reach 1 billion reais.

Solar Pricing

With four solar projects in Bahia, Renova Energia SA won contracts for 107 megawatts of capacity and will invest about 500 million reais, Pedro Pileggi, Renova’s chief financial officer, said on a conference call today.

The company intends to get about 65 percent of the financing from Brazil’s development bank, known as BNDES. SunEdison Inc. will supply equipment.

Developers agreed to sell electricity at an average price of 215.12 reais a megawatt-hour, after starting at a maximum price of 262 reais. In Brazil’s energy auctions, the government sets a ceiling price and developers bid down the price at which they are willing to sell power. The lowest bids win contracts.