Parabolic trough maker SkyFuel and Brazilian energy developer Braxenergy have signed an agreement to cooperate in bringing concentrating solar power to the Brazilian market. While SkyFuel’s interest lies in the design and commercialization of high efficiency, low cost parabolic trough concentrators, Braxenergy has a robust portfolio (over 3 GW) of small hydro, biomass, and biogas projects that they have developed in Brazil. The first project to be constructed will be the 50 MW Coremas plant in Northeastern Brazil. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner in Brazil than Braxenergy,” said SkyFuel’s Kelly Beninga. “They know the regulations, and how to navigate them, and they know the local suppliers for SkyTrough components.”
The Coremas plants will generate electricity from solar during the day and biomass (coconut waste) at night or during cloudy periods. As an added economic benefit to the region, vegetable‐producing greenhouses will be built between rows of collectors, which are spaced 18 m apart to avoid shading. Braxenergy’s CEO, Helcio Camarinha, commented that “the economics for thermosolar in Brazil look very good, especially using the SkyTrough.”
More than three‐quarters of Brazil’s electric supply, which is regulated by the National Agency for Electric Energy (ANEEL), is generated from hydropower. To encourage the growth of other renewable energy sources, ANEEL provides a generous discount on transmission and distribution of qualifying systems. The agency is in the process of administering competitive auctions for power purchase agreements for 14 GW of new projects.