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CSP Projects in Brazil

Petrolina / Pernambuco

In order to explore the Concentrating Solar Power potential in Brazil, in 2010 the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) and the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) signed an agreement to construct a research platform in the Brazilian semiarid region. At first, a project with parabolic trough technology will be implemented with an installed capacity of 1 MWel in Petrolina, in the state of Pernambuco.

Implemented by the Center for Energy Research (CEPEL) and the Hydroelectric Company of San Francisco (CHESF), the project aims to conduct further research on CSP technologies. The parameters used to determine the location of the plant were: direct normal irradiation, infrastructure in the region, water resources, among others. From these data, it is possible to carry out studies about the solar potential of the region and the pre-feasibility study of the solar plant.

The initial project does not foresee storage capacity for heat transfer liquid. Nevertheless, in future stages of the project storage can be added to the system.


Vale do Açu / Rio Grande do Norte

Known for producing fuel, the state-owned company Petrobras seeks to create a combination of heat and electricity generation. In addition to electricity generation, the company will, evaluate possibilities for process heat generation.  The CSP plant will be located in the Açu Valley in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. Process heat will be used for the treatment and separation of oil and electric generation will reduce the consumption of the company's buildings.

The commercial solar tower CSP plant, which will be located next to the thermoelectric power plant Termoaçu, is designed to feature 3 MW capacity.  This project will be conducted in partnership with the Gas & Renewable Energy Technology Center (CTGAS-ER), the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN).

In addition to energy trading, it is expected that the acquisition and installation of the plant will be made with a high local content, creating a Brazilian value chain. The project also focuses at the development of appropriate project methodology adapted to Brazilian conditions, including modeling and computer simulations, industry training and evaluation of construction and operating costs of the plant.