Vale S.A., one of the largest mining companies in the world, said this week that it selected Nextracker to supply its bifacially optimized smart solar trackers for the Sol de Cerrado solar project in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The 766-MWp solar complex, which will be one of the largest in Brazil, will help power Vale’s mining operations in the Jaíba area of Minas Gerais and will be interconnected to the regional transmission grid.
Initial construction will begin later this year, with the project scheduled for completion in 2022.
The project will play a major role in Vale’s efforts to achieve its corporate sustainability goals, said the company. Once operational, the Sol de Cerrado solar project will provide 13 percent of the company’s total energy needs in Brazil and offset GHG Protocol Scope 2 emissions by up to 136,407 tons of CO2/ year. The company plans to produce 100 percent of the energy needed for its Brazilian operations by 2025 and reach carbon neutrality across its global footprint by 2050.
Nextracker’s regional office in Brazil will support the project with engineering, commissioning, and asset management services as well as advanced data analytics for preventive maintenance. Installation crews will attend Nextracker’s PowerworX Academy installer trainingprogram to learn best practices on site and at the company’s training center in Sorocaba, São Paulo.
“Vale’s Sol de Cerrado project is yet another example of how the mining industry is embracing renewables as a reliable source of generation to power operations and offset greenhouse gas emissions,” said Alejo Lopez, Nextracker vice president of sales for Latin America. “We look forward to working closely with Vale and deploying our smart solar trackers and software to maximize plant performance while minimizing operational costs for the 30-year-plus lifetime of the plant.”