GE and Atlas Renewable Energy Partner to Deliver More-Efficient Solar Farms in Brazil

10 October 2017

Competitive with coal-based power generation, the sharply reduced solar-based electricity price continues to push boundaries of technology to further reduce the cost of energy production. With a 50 percent increase of power voltage compared to the previous versions, 1,500-volt solar technology is leading the trend to continue lowering the cost of electricity amid the increasingly competitive solar industry.

GE Power was recently chosen by Atlas Renewable Energy to provide LV5 1,500-volt solar skid solutions to two solar projects—Juazeiro and São Pedro—located in Bahia State, north of Brazil. The state-of-the-art, 1,500-volt inverter technology from GE’s Power Conversion business enables a simplified and more-efficient farm infrastructure layout while reducing investment costs for constructions. Compared to its 1,000-volt peers, it can reduce up to 3 percent of the system cost and save up to 15 percent of inverter operating expenses.

“Levelized cost of energy is a key indicator to drive investment decisions, among which capex and opex are fundamental drivers. GE’s solutions would ensure the bankability of our solar plants, ensuring that our assets are backed by a reliable and competitive solution that complies with our stringent quality and long-term performance standards,” said Carlos Barrera, CEO, Atlas Renewable Energy.

GE will provide the inverters that sit in 4-megawatt (MW) or 2-MW solar skids for the 120-MW Juazeiro project and 54-MW São Pedro project. Manufactured in its factory in Betim, GE’s LV5 obtained accreditation from the Brazilian Economical and Social Development Bank (BNDES). This achievement marks GE as the first supplier of 1,500-volt solar inverter technology compliant with Finame requirements. The BNDES accreditation will allow GE’s customers to get BNDES financing at more attractive interest rates. GE has so far secured nearly 1 gigawatt of order in the country and will ship in total half a gigawatt by the end of this year to support local solar farms.

“At GE, we strive to bring the best solution to help customers achieve high energy productivity with reduced cost of electricity, thus enabling better investment performance,” said Azeez Mohammed, president & CEO, GE’s Power Conversion. “We are pleased to be chosen by Atlas Renewables Energy to provide our 1,500-volt technology. Together, we will help drive solar energy to become a mainstream fuel for social and economic growth in Brazil.”