French renewables developer Voltalia won contracts for 32MW of PV projects in the A-6 tender in Brazil earlier in October, entering the solar industry in the country as part of a hybrid development strategy.
“We now know that solar projects, together with wind projects, will contribute to take advantage of the 2.4GW potential of our Serra Branca cluster,” said Sébastien Clerc, CEO of Voltalia.
Serra Branca is located in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte, and is a cluster of wind farms being developed by the French company. So far it has 309MW of wind capacity in operation in Brazil and another 588MW under construction, part of which will sell power through the first corporate PPAs that Voltalia signed in the country, including with local agribusiness and industrialised food company BRF in contracts of 10 years.
Like most companies in Brazil, Voltalia is implementing a strategy to contract power from the same project in both the regulated market – where prices as lower but tenures are 20 years – and the non-regulated market, where prices are higher but terms shorter.
In last Friday’s tender, the company also won a 20-year PPA for a 16MW small-hydro plant, which will further its diversification of its energy mix in Brazil.
Voltalia sold 273MW of capacity to British investment fund Actis earlier this year, and could divest another 227MW as an option in the original transaction.
Although Voltalia has a presence in Europe and Africa, it is overweight on Brazil, which accounts for significant amount of its global installed capacity. In 2016, the French company bought Martifer Solar, the PV arm of Portuguese industrial group of the same name, which included a solar projects pipeline in Brazil.
Like Voltalia, Brazil’s Casa dos Ventos also debuted in solar, winning PPAs for a 300MW PV project.