June 22, 2024

Equinor Approves 140-MWp Solar Park Project in Bahia, Brazil

Equinor, a Norwegian energy company, has decided to construct a 140-MWp solar park adjacent to its current 223-MW Serra da Babilonia I wind complex in Bahia state, Brazil.

Equinor's Rio Energy to Develop 140-MWp Solar Park

Equinor's local subsidiary, Rio Energy, will oversee the development of the 140-MWp solar park. Rio Energy, a Brazilian onshore renewables company, was acquired by Equinor in 2023 to serve as its platform for expanding onshore renewables in the country.

Besides Serra da Babilonia I, Equinor, the Norwegian energy leader, operates two other renewable energy parks in Brazil: the 162-MW Apodi solar park and the 531-MW Mendubim solar complex. The company also has a pipeline of over 1.5 GW of solar and wind projects under development through Rio Energy.

“We are delighted to approve this investment just seven months after acquiring Rio Energy. Our ownership of this platform provides a solid foundation for developing a profitable renewables portfolio in Brazil by leveraging Rio Energy's capabilities and maximizing synergies with our trading house, Danske Commodities. This marks our fourth project in Northeast Brazil, highlighting the region's significance in providing renewable energy sources.” said Veronica Coelho, Equinor country manager in Brazil.

Sdb Solar Complex to Commence Operation by 2025

SdB Solar will utilize the existing interconnection system without needing additional grid capacity. It will supply energy to the grid when the wind projects are not using the grid capacity, thereby optimizing total energy production. The hybrid model allows for complementary wind and solar power production.

The construction of the SdB Solar Complex will begin in September 2024 and is anticipated to be operational by the end of 2025

“SdB Solar represents the first investment decision made under Equinor's ownership and will be Rio Energy’s inaugural solar project. This milestone is significant for us, and our team is highly motivated to execute the project safely and efficiently” said Marcos Meireles, CEO of Rio Energy.

Danske Commodities to Market Solar Park Electricity

As part of Equinor's strategy in Brazil, the electricity generated from the solar park will be marketed by Equinor's energy trading entity, Danske Commodities. The project is anticipated to deliver returns in line with Equinor's previous guidance for renewable energy investments.

"Thanks to the dedicated team at Rio Energy, we are advancing steadily toward our renewable energy goals in Brazil. With the approval of the SdB Solar Complex, we now have approximately 600 MW of solar and wind projects either producing power or under construction in the country. This investment underscores Brazil's importance as a critical region for achieving our ambition to lead in the energy transition, prioritizing profitable growth in renewables." said Christian Lie Hansen, vice president of onshore renewables Americas.

The approval and development of the SdB Solar Complex represent a key milestone for Equinor as it strengthens its position in Brazil's renewable energy sector, furthering its goal to contribute significantly to the global energy transition.

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