ENERGIA LIMPIA XXI. Solar energy in Brazil is moving forward and new projects are shining on the horizon. IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, provided financing equivalent to $67.2 million, with a tenor of 14.8 years, for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of four bifacial photovoltaic plants, with a combined capacity of 187 MW. The Jacaranda project will be developed by four special-purpose entities established in Brazil, which belong to subsidiaries owned by the company Atlas Renewable Energy.
The joint power generation of the projects increases the installed capacity of non-conventional renewable energy and the diversification of the energy matrix in Brazil. Production will be approximately 440 GWh per year, enough to meet the energy demand of a city of 750,000 inhabitants, and will contribute to reducing the equivalent of 35,000 tons of CO2 per year. This would be comparable to removing 36,800 vehicles from the streets of Sao Paulo in the same period. The plant will be located about 5 kilometers from the center of the city of Juazeiro do Norte, in the state of Bahia, next to the Juazeiro project, already in operation. Energía Limpia XXI magazine states that according to the IDB Invest, bifacial solar photovoltaic energy is a technology that increases the energy productivity of solar photovoltaic power plants compared to the use of conventional solar modules, which only absorb light from one side. This increased performance helps reduce generation costs and helps increase the penetration of renewable energy.
Atlas Renewable Energy will sell the generated energy to four Brazilian subsidiaries owned by The Dow Chemical Company, a US-based company dedicated to the manufacture and sale of chemical products around the world. This agreement is an innovative solution to provide clean energy to a private buyer 24 hours a day. The supply of a complete cycle is achieved by exchanging energy from Jacaranda with other renewable energy providers.
IDB Invest’s financing consists of a $27.8 million loan from its own resources and the mobilization of three other loans. The first is from DNB Bank ASA through a participation in the risk without funding for a value of $24.4 million. The other two are through the mobilization of two blended financing loans: $7.5 million from the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector of the Americas – Phase II (C2FII), and $7.5 million from the Technology Fund Clean (CTF), both supporting the integration of bifacial technology in financing.
The transaction with IDB Invest, through the participation of the C2FII and the CTF, includes a set of performance incentives on gender, diversity and inclusion to accelerate the implementation of an action plan to increase diversity. During the construction of the projects, at least 10 percent of the technical workforce will be women, which is between three and four times greater than the average number of women hired in solar projects in Brazil. The project will also seek to include a percentage of Afro-descendant workers. In addition, at the corporate level, an analysis of the data will be carried out, and a diagnosis based on the Women’s Empowerment Principles tool, to offer training in diversity and inclusive practices, a task in which Atlas Renewable Energy has worked during 2020.
Through this transaction, IDB Invest continues to play a significant role in promoting and maintaining investments in renewable energy under adequate financing conditions, especially in the context of the economic crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The operation potentially contributes to four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9) and Climate Action (SDG 13).
About IDB Invest
IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of USD 13.1 billion in asset management and 385 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.
About Atlas Renewable Energy
Atlas Renewable Energy is a renewable energy generation company that develops, builds and operates renewable energy projects with long-term energy contracts in Latin America. The company’s current portfolio is 2.2 GW of contracted projects in the development, construction or operation stage, and it aims to expand by an additional 4 GW in the coming years. Created in early 2017, Atlas Renewable Energy has an experienced team with a long history in the solar energy industry in Latin America. The company is recognized for its high standards in the development, construction and operation of large-scale projects. Atlas Renewable Energy is part of Energy Fund IV, founded by Actis, a leading private equity investor in the energy sector in emerging markets. Atlas Renewable Energy’s growth is focused on the main emerging markets and economies in Latin America, with the aim of providing Latin America with a cleaner future.