Casa dos Ventos, the largest developer of renewable energy projects in Brazil, entered a solar photovoltaic (PV) energy purchase and sale agreement with Lightsource BP, a developer and manager of solar energy projects. The 10-year partnership is the first long-term solar power purchase agreement (PPA) that Casa dos Ventos has signed as an energy purchaser and marks the beginning of Lightsource BP’s operations in Brazil, with its first solar energy project.
“Our energy trading in the free market has grown rapidly, so we decided to complement our portfolio for a decade with photovoltaic energy from Lightsource BP,” said Itamar Lessa, commercial director at Casa dos Ventos. According to Casa dos Ventos, the company’s trading arm earned more than US$210 million and completed more than 7 TWh in the volume of energy trader in its first year of operation. With 1.3 GWm traded per month, the contracts signed by the company until 2025 now total US$1.51 billion.
Construction of the Milagres project (210 MWp) in Abaiara in the state of Ceará has begun, with full commercial operation expected in early 2024. Around 800 direct jobs will be created at the peak of the construction, with a priority of hiring labor among local residents. The project will bring development to the region with direct benefits to the community.
In addition to job creation, Lightsource BP will invest in social and environmental projects in the Cariri region, where the project is being built. When operating, the Milagres solar farm will reduce carbon emissions by 246,216 tons (223,363 tonnes) per year, equivalent to diesel consumption by more than 57,000 cars.
Casa dos Ventos also has 900 MW of wind farms under construction which will come into operation in the first half of 2023. The company will also start construction on 200 MW of wind farms this year which will come into operation in 2024. All these assets have signed long-term contracts with large consumers, some of them in self-production mode.
In addition to the acquisition of solar energy from Lightsource BP, Casa dos Ventos plans to add 800 MW of solar generating capacity to its portfolio in the coming years. Of this total, 400 MW will be added to wind farms in the Northeast, making them hybrid models. The other half of the power will come solely from solar generating plants in the Southeast/Center-West submarket.
Solar contracts complement Casa dos Ventos’ other projects and diversify its existing portfolio, which is mostly wind energy. Investing in solar enhances Casa dos Ventos’ commitment to renewable sources and the decarbonization of the national electricity mix.
Lightsource BP believes that the contract with Casa dos Ventos is an important milestone for the company’s operations in the country. “This project showcases our ability to partner with major players in the renewable energy market,” said Ricardo Barros, Lightsource BP’s country manager in Brazil. “Lightsource BP sees our country as a key market to achieving its renewable energy generation goals, and we have an extensive market to explore. We currently have projects under development in Brazil totaling 4 GWp of generation capacity.”
With a broad portfolio of projects spread across the Southeast, Central-West, and Northeast, Lightsource BP expects to meet the growing demand for solar renewable energy contracts through corporate PPAs and self-production structures. The company looks to work collaboratively in partnership with their clients, meeting their energy needs in a customized manner, including renewable energy certificates, which prove that electrons added to the grid are from a renewable solar source.