Latin American markets
Latin America is one of the world’s fastest-growing photovoltaic markets, because of its high level of sunlight, increasing energy needs and relatively low electricity prices.
Each region of Latin America has its own constraints and advantages as well as varying energy production levels. We note the emergence of three leading countries – Chile, Mexico and Brazil – where Solairedirect is developing and building projects.
55 MW of projects completed or in progress in Chile
200 MW of projects in Mexico
present in Chile since 2010
Chile has limited energy resources and has to import a significant proportion of its energy consumption in the form of liquefied natural gas, coal and oil. However, the country has several factors that favor the development of photovoltaic energy: one of the world’s highest levels of sunlight, a sharp increase in electricity demand and relatively high electricity prices.
To cut back on its dependence on imports, Chile is seeking to promote its domestic renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic or wind power.
On this market, the price of photovoltaic energy is already lower than wholesale tariffs and lower than the price of electricity produced from coal, gas or wind energy. In Chile, photovoltaic energy is now emerging as the most competitive production source. Thanks to its long-held trade liberalization strategy, Chile is also a ground-breaking country with respect to solar electricity sales on the market.
Solairedirect set up operations in Chile in 2010, and inaugurated its first solar park in Andacallo in December 2013 in the presence of the Energy Minister. As at December 31, 2015, Solairedirect had a total of 55 MW on completed or ongoing projects in Chile.
Mexico and Panama
The photovoltaic energy market in Mexico and Central America has grown significantly in recent years. Thanks to optimum sunshine levels in the northern half of the country and the liberalization of the energy sector since 2012, Mexico offers a high potential of development for photovoltaic energy.
It is in this favorable context that Solairedirect has signed a partnership contract with one of the key players of the solar energy sector in order to develop solar park projects with a total capacity of 200 MW.
Following Panama’s first call for bids, in a context of fierce international competition, Solairedirect was selected for the construction of a 21 MW solar park. Our Group has thus become the first player to sign a long-term solar power sales agreement with the three main distributors in Panama.
Although Brazil’s power used to be produced mostly from hydroelectric sources, it has had to turn to energy sources to make up for the low rainfall levels observed in the last 15 years. These drops, combined with an increase in electricity demand during the same period, have mechanically created a production deficit, which was initially offset with the use of fossil energy.
Following the measures put in place by the Brazilian government, the country’s energy matrix is gradually integrating new sources of renewable energy: wind energy since 2010 and solar energy since 2014.
At the end of 2014, Brazil established a favorable legislative environment. This consists of national Power auctions that guarantee purchase prices for 20 years. The target is to reach 3.5 GW of solar capacity by 2023, representing 1.8% of the country’s energy mix. This is why Brazil is going to build its first solar parks.
In December 2015, Solairedirect won an auction organized by the Brazilian energy regulator (ANEEL) to develop two solar parks with capacities of 80 MW and 120 MW, located in the states of Rio Grande do Norte and Minas Gerais respectively. Following these auctions, Solairedirect has secured the sale of the electricity generated by these two parks, since the agreements cover a 20-year period as from November 2018.