Grid-Connected Solar Array to Power Brazilian Mine

May 25, 2021
Mining giant Vale S.A. picks Nextracker to supply smart solar trackers for 766 MW Sol de Cerrado Solar Project in Brazil

Vale S.A., one of the largest mining companies in the world, has chosen Nextracker to supply its NX Horizon bifacially optimized smart solar trackers for the Sol de Cerrado solar project in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The 766 MW solar complex, which will be the company’s largest in Brazil, will help power Vale's mining operations in the Jaíba area of Minas Gerais and will be interconnected to the regional transmission grid.

Initial construction will begin later this year, with the project scheduled for completion in 2022.

The project will play a role in Vale's efforts to achieve its corporate sustainability goals. Once operational, the Sol de Cerrado solar project will provide 13 percent of the company's total energy needs in Brazil and offset GHG Protocol Scope 2 emissions by up to 136,407 tons of CO2/ year.

The company plans to produce 100 percent of the energy needed for its Brazilian operations by 2025 and reach carbon neutrality across its global footprint by 2050.

Nextracker's regional office in Brazil will support the project with engineering, commissioning, and asset management services as well as advanced data analytics for preventive maintenance. Installation crews will attend Nextracker's PowerworX Academy installer training program to learn best practices on site and at the company's training center in Sorocaba, São Paulo.

"Vale's Sol de Cerrado project is yet another example of how the mining industry is embracing renewables as a reliable source of generation to power operations and offset greenhouse gas emissions," said Alejo Lopez, Nextracker vice president of sales for Latin America. "We look forward to working closely with Vale and deploying our smart solar trackers and software to maximize plant performance while minimizing operational costs for the 30-year-plus lifetime of the plant."

The Sol de Cerrado project is the second major Brazilian market win for Nextracker this year and the latest addition to its growing portfolio in the country. The company also recently secured a contract to supply its bifacially optimized trackers to the 830 MW Janaúba solar project in Minas Gerais and is mining industry's solar tracker of choice in Australia.

Brazil is one of the fastest-growing solar markets in the Latin American region, due in part to its high irradiation levels and solar-friendly policies. The country has 7.4 GW of cumulative solar installations to date. Minas Gerais is the top Brazilian state for solar power capacity in the nation.

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