Solar power for Anglo American's Brazil operations

Atlas Renewable Energy and Anglo American have signed the largest solar energy purchase and sale contract in Brazil to date with an investment of BRL 881 million (US$187 million)
Solar power for Anglo American's Brazil operations Solar power for Anglo American's Brazil operations Solar power for Anglo American's Brazil operations Solar power for Anglo American's Brazil operations Solar power for Anglo American's Brazil operations

This contract is part of Anglo American's strategy to use 100% renewable energy for its operations in Brazil as of 2022

Staff reporter

Atlas Renewable Energy is a renewable energy generation company that develops, builds and operates renewable energy projects with long-term energy contracts across Latin America.

The clean energy supply will be through the Atlas Casablanca photovoltaic solar plant, which is in the state of Minas Gerais. It is expected to supply 613GWh per year from 2022, or about 9TWh during the 15-year contract with Anglo American.

The Atlas Casablanca solar plant has an installed capacity of 330MW 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% renewable energy for its operations in Brazil as of 2022. It is part of Anglo American's Sustainable Mining Plan, which includes a goal to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030.

Atlas Renewable Energy will use bifacial modules in the Atlas Casablanca solar plant to generate solar energy. These novel solar panels can 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 Atlas Casablanca project, different labour training programs especially developed for the female work force will be implemented, and the hiring of local labour will be prioritised.

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 CO2 emissions associated with our activities."

Carlos Barrera, CEO of Atlas Renewable Energy, said: "Atlas is leading in the new trend of providing clean energy directly to large energy consumers. 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 [power purchase agreement] 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."

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."