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Latin America Report: Brazil Planning Its First Solar-specific National Auction

Brazil is reportedly planning its first-ever national solar-specific energy auction to be held by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME).

MME secretary Altino Ventura announced that Brazil will be sponsoring the solar auction this year, but did not reveal a specific date as of yet, according to local news outlet Jornal da Energia

The technology had been shut out of the renewable energy auctions that were held in late-2013 by national electric energy agency ANEEL because it has not been able to compete with the production costs of other renewables — namely wind.  

In December 2013, the state government of Pernambuco held its own solar-exclusive auction, registering 122.82 MW of capacity. The average price of power rang in at 228.63 Brazilian reals/MWH (US $101.08) from a starting price of R $250/MWh (US $110.53).  For comparison, the A-5 energy auction, which was also held in December 2013 started at R $122/MWh (US $53.94) for all projects, and ended with an average price of R $109.83/MWh (US $48.56), which favored mainly wind, with some small-scale hydro and biomass. 

In late March, ANEEL director Andre Pepitone suggested that solar PV is now competitive and Brazil is ready solar project proposals in its energy auctions with prices around R $200/MWh (US $88.43), which will make it competitive with other technologies.

IN THE NEWS 

Panama Commissions Its First Solar Energy Plant: Panama has some of the highest solar irradiance in Central America, so it may come as a surprise that it brought its first solar plant online in late February. The 2.4-MW installation uses 11,886 PV panels and was made possible by a $9 million donation from Enel Green Power and the Italian government. 

Latin America’s Largest Solar Plant Commissioned in Mexico: The 39-MW Aura Solar 1 plant was commissioned this week in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. The $100 million PV project was developed by Gauss Energia and Martifer Solar and was financed by Mexico-based development bank Nafin, the World Bank, International Finance Corporation and Aura Solar. 

Brazil Set to be King of Latin American Wind: By 2022 Brazil is set to have more than 20 GW of wind energy capacity – more than each nation in Latin America combined, according to a new report from Navigant research. To reach this number, its yearly growth pace is set to reach 1.6 GW by 2016.

Brazil Asset Manager Seeks Partners to Finance Wind Growth: Rio Bravo Investimentos SA is determined to take advantage of the huge wind energy growth in Brazil. It plans to bring 503.5 MW online by the end of 2014 and at least double that number by 2017, its chief investment officer Paulo Bilyk told Bloomberg. It would like to be “one of the biggest renewable energy companies” in Brazil, he said.

Enel to Develop Combined Hydropower and Solar Plant in Brazil: Enel Green Power announced it is constructing its 102-MW Apiacas hydropower complex in Brazil, which will consist of three plants Salto Apiacás, Cabeza de Boi, and Fazenda, with seven turbines in total. The facility will also include a 1.2-MW stand-alone solar installation that will reduce power consumption during construction and then feed power to the grid once the project is complete, which is expected to be in the first half of 2016.

A DEEPER LOOK 

The Future of Chile's Energy Sector Lies with Renewable Energy: National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) analyst examines the 2013 annual report from the Chilean Renewable Energy Center that says non-conventional renewable energy (which excludes large-scale hydropower) is expected to boom in the coming years. 2013 saw 39 percent growth over 2013, with a total of 18 GW of renewable capacity either In operation, development or under review — which is more power than Chile’s current installed capacity. 

Caribbean Receives $6.8 Million for Renewables Development: Following a clean energy summit hosted by Richard Branson on the Necker and Moskito islands, seven Caribbean islands have committed to make the switch to clean energy. With a heavy dependence on expensive fossil fuels the islands of Saint Lucia, Dominica, The British Virgin Isles, Colombia, Turks & Caicos, Saint Kitts & Nevis and Aruba have pledged to work with the Caron War Room and the Rocky Mountain Institute to being their transition to renewable energy. 

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

How Chile Is Shepherding Its Renewable Energy Expansion

Solar's Auction Debut in Brazil

Gauging Mexico's Wind Energy Market

Wind Sweeps Brazil's A-3 Power Auctions

Lead image: Corcovado Mountain via Shutterstock

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