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Another big auction for solar in Brazil

After being excluded from the A-6 auction last year, solar will now be entitled to compete for 20-year PPAs with wind, hydro, and thermal power projects in this kind of procurement exercise. The auction will be held on September 26.

Brazil’s energy agency Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica (EPE), which is controlled by the Brazilian Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), has published the bidding terms of the A-6 energy auction that will be held on September 26.

According to the document, unlike last year, when solar PV was excluded by the first auction of this kind, in this year’s A-6 auction, the technology will be entitled to compete alongside wind, hydro, and thermal power projects.

Projects selected in the auction will have to begin commercial operations on Jan. 1, 2025. Developers will have until May 17 to register their project proposals.

In the past few weeks, Brazilian solar energy association ABSOLAR had called on the Brazilian government to avoid another exclusion this year, and for the other two A-6 auctions planned for 2020 and 2021. “This should be done in such a way that solar power has also the same treatment given to wind power and other renewable energy sources such as biomass and hydropower,” Rodrigo Sauaia, the CEO of ABSOLAR, said to pv magazine at the time.

Sauaia had also stressed that A-6 auctions will be the most important power auctions in the coming years, due to the lower demand available for contracting new projects in the A-4 auctions.

As for the upcoming A-4 auction, which is planned to be held on June 27, the EPE has already admitted 751 solar projects totaling 26 GW to the initial phase, with all of the submitted projects reaching a combined capacity of 51.2 GW.

It is still difficult to predict how much aggregate solar power could be awarded in this year’s two upcoming auctions, but it will likely be more than the 806 MW the Brazilian government allocated in last year’s A-4 auction, the sole national energy procurement exercise to which solar was allowed to participate.

A three-year energy auction plan was unveiled by the ministry in March. The plan included six auctions for “new energy” – including solar – for which the MEM has scheduled two auctions per year: an A-4 exercise for power supply to begin four years later, and a six-year A-6 procurement. The A-4 auctions will be held on June 27; April 23 next year; and April 29, 2021. The A-6 auction dates are September 26; September 24 next year; and September 30, 2021.

Source: pv magazine