A renewable energy company in Latin America, Atlas Renewable Energy, along with global mining company Anglo American have signed the largest solar energy purchase and sale contract in Brazil.

The clean energy supply will be through the Atlas Casablanca solar PV plant, located in the State of Minas Gerais, and is expected to supply about 9 TWh during the life of the contract with Anglo American for 15 years and will commence in 2022.

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The power purchase agreement has an investment value of 881 million Brazilian reals ($183m).

The Atlas Casablanca solar plant has an installed capacity of 330 MW with more than 800,000 modules. The plant will produce enough energy to supply a city of 1.4 million inhabitants, according to the average consumption of a Brazilian family.

This contract is part of Anglo American’s strategy to use 100 per cent renewable energy for its operations in Brazil as of 2022 and is part of Anglo American Sustainable Mining Plan, which has among its goals to reduce by 30 per cent its CO2 emissions by 2030.

Wilfred Bruijn, CEO of Anglo American in Brazil, commented: “With this agreement and the contract for the construction of a wind power plant in Bahia signed in December, we will now be sourcing 90% of our energy from renewable sources, leading to a 40% reduction in CO2emissions associated with our activities.”

Carlos Barrera, Atlas Renewable Energy CEO, mentioned: “The forms of supply are being transformed, making clean sources available to large companies, thus reducing their carbon footprint and production costs. Atlas is proud of pioneering, once again, the bilateral solar PPA in a new Latin American country.

“Our team was the first to implement a solar Private PPA in Chile some eight years ago, and now we do so in Brazil. We would like to acknowledge and congratulate Anglo American’s leadership for their commitment to become a more sustainable institution.”

Technology & skills development at the Atlas Casablanca plant

The renewable energy company will use bifacial modules in the Atlas Casablanca solar plant, cutting-edge technology in the generation of solar energy. These novel solar panels are able to use the reflection of the sun’s rays from their front and back sides, increasing the efficiency of the photoelectric conversion, and therefore increasing the energy generation and efficiency of the plant.

As part of its commitment to the State of Minas Gerais, Atlas Renewable Energy will develop, in conjunction with local communities, plans that contribute to the improvement of their living conditions. During the construction and operation of the project, different labour training programmes, specially developed for the female workforce will be implemented and the hiring of local labour will be prioritised.

Luis Pita, general manager of Atlas Renewable Energy for Brazil, emphasised: “This contract represents a leadership position by Anglo American to demonstrate its commitment to the use of renewable energy in its operations, as well as Atlas’s ability to develop bilateral contracts for clean energy supply with top-level companies that share our interest in protecting and preserving the environment. The Atlas Casablanca project will be an important step in the development of the solar power in a state as important as Minas Gerais.”

Luiz Ballester, commercial director for Atlas Renewable Energy in Brazil, also commented: “This project is an example of the added value that Atlas can offer thanks to our ability to create advantageous, low-cost and tailor-made solutions for industrial partners.”

Ballester, added: “The Brazilian industrial sector is not only conscious about maximising its efficiency but also concerned about their carbon footprint, here is where a company like Atlas comes into play, we have the expertise and financial capabilities to provide a major differentiator for these companies by implementing clean energy solutions from development to the full operation.”

AUW 2020

According to Anglo American, the company is a responsible miner – of diamonds (through De Beers), copper, platinum group metals, iron ore, coal and nickel – and are the custodians of these precious natural resources.

“We work together with our business partners and diverse stakeholders to unlock the sustainable value that those resources represent for our shareholders, the communities and countries in which we operate, and for society as a whole. Anglo American is re-imagining mining to improve people’s lives,” states the mining group.

Originally published on esi-africa.com

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