Norway-based energy company Equinor has announced the start of operations at its 531MW Mendubim solar plant in Brazil.

The new solar plant will increase Equinor’s power capacity in Brazil by 30%, producing around 1.2TWh of power each year. More than half (60%) of the power will be sold on a 20-year, dollar-denominated power purchase agreement with Alunorte, an alumina refinery in Barcarena. The remaining will be sold in the Brazilian power market.

“Mendubim represents an important contribution to Equinor’s diversified energy offering in Brazil that includes a robust oil and gas portfolio and an attractive renewables position,” says Veronica Coelho, Equinor Brazil’s country manager.

News about the solar plant comes after a UK local council in Yorkshire gave the green light to the Norwegian giant in February to build a 600MW blue hydrogen production plant and another carbon capture facility.

Speaking about the new solar plant in Brazil, Olav Kolbeinstveit, senior vice-president for onshore and markets within renewables at Equinor, added: “Launching a major new solar plant in Brazil in partnership with Scatec and Hydro Rein is an important achievement. Equinor has conducted business in Brazil for over two decades, and we see the country as a core area for long-term profitable growth.

“By investing in renewable energy, we are supporting Brazil’s ambitions towards a diverse energy mix and helping to meet the expected power demand growth in the country,” Kolbeinstveit added.

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