Norwegian renewable energy company Scatec and its partners have begun construction works at the 531MW Mendubim solar project in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

Scatec said that the project is being developed in partnership with Equinor and Hydro Rein.

Hydro Rein head Olivier Girardot said: “Brazil is leading the way within solar energy in Latin America, and we are very pleased to take part in this development together with Equinor and Scatec.

“Mendubim enables further decarbonisation of Alunorte, which is key to reach Hydro’s target of a 30% carbon dioxide reduction by 2030.”

The three companies will each hold an economic interest of 33.3% in the solar power project, as well as jointly provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services.

They have also signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with alumina supplier Alunorte, to be paid in US dollars.

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Under the PPA, Alunorte will be procuring 60% of the clean power generated by the solar facility, while the remaining renewable power will be sold on the Brazilian energy market.

The project will be built with an estimated capital expenditure of $430m, which will be financed through non-recourse project debt and equity from partners.

Scatec CEO Terje Pilskog said: “This investment is a key milestone in delivering on our strategy and will strengthen our position in a major renewable energy growth market with strong partners, including Equinor and Hydro Rein.

“Brazil’s solar energy market is expected to further accelerate, and we are pleased to move ahead with this exciting project that will help to power 620,000 households in Brazil.”

Scatec and its partners will provide operation and maintenance (O&M) and asset management services for the solar facility.

The three companies will now place orders for key components to begin preparation activities at the project site.

The project is expected to reach financial close by the end of this year.