Expanding clean and renewable energy is Neoenergia 's growth strategy, mainly to meet the increasing demand in the free market. The company will build its first solar plant for centralized generation, which production will be allocated to the Free Contracting Environment (ACL). The project will be located in the city of Santa Luzia (PB), at the Chafariz Wind Complex , and, due to this, will feature operational synergies with other group's investments. The new park, slated to start-up by the second half of 2022, will have 149.3 MWdc power, enough to supply over 100 thousand households.
“In 2022, with Luzia photovoltaic plant and other assets under construction, we will have over 90% of our matrix composed by renewable energy, a profile that is even cleaner than the Brazilian one. The focus for our expansion is on the generation though solar and wind sources, fulfilling our strategy of neutralizing carbon emissions by 2050 and meeting an increasing demand from our customers for clean energy. The whole world is going through an economy decarbonization process and we want to have an active participation in this transition", says Laura Porto, Neoenergia's Renewables officer.
The new solar plant already has already had part of its energy traded at the free market through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Claro, a long-term agreement for the next twelve years, starting from 2022.
The energy supplied under the agreement will feature the Renewable Energy Certification (I-REC) ensuring that it stems from a sustainable source. “Consumers are increasingly aware of purchasing clean energy as a driver for value creation. This is our focus. We act to expand more and more our portfolio of wind and solar projects, with a strategic plan for long-term investments. The execution of long-term agreements is part of this strategy, says Hugo Nunes, Neoenergia's Liberalized Business officer.
The new plants will be constructed in a 753-ha leased area, the equivalent to almost 500 soccer fields. Such area was leased, ensuring to owners in the region the economic benefits during the entire life of the project.
The connection infrastructure of Luzia photovoltaic plant will be shared with Chafariz Wind Complex, with 15 wind farms amounting to an installed capacity of 471.2 MW and are slated to start-up by 2022. Neoenergia is also building transmission lines in the region, acquired under Lot 6 of 002/2017 auction held by the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel). The new solar plant is located around 11 km far from Santa Luzia II substation, which is part of the project.
“We are tapping into a new business and diversifying the operational portfolio. With this new solar plant, we will achieve important synergy gains on construction, operation and maintenance between the generation and transmission assets, contributing to increase profitability of investments and the growth of our generation parks of clean energy. Our goal is to keep growing on a strategic and sustainable basis, ensuring the profitability to our shareholders, as is the case in Luzia", says Thaisa Almeida, Neoenergia's superintendent of Renewable Business Development.
In addition to solar and wind farms in Paraíba, Neoenergia started the construction of Oitis Wind Complex.in October, three months before the schedule. It will have 12 farms between Bahia and Piauí, amounting to 566.5 MW. 96% of the project energy will be traded at the Free Contracting Environment, following the company's new business model.
These new projects contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with which Neoenergia is committed, prioritizing the supply of clean energy and the fight against climate change.