Voltalia has begun construction of its largest solar project, the 320 MW SSM1&2, which includes 50 MW of additional capacity contracted recently.
The SSM1&2 solar project is backed by five long-term power-sales contracts with an average maturity of 16 years for a total capacity of 320 MW. Initially a 32 MW project, it has grown ten-fold thanks to new long-term contracts signed with a series of buyers, including a corporate PPA with Braskem, a petrochemical company, and a utility PPA with Copel, a long-term partner of Voltalia and an investor in Voltalia’s SMG wind farm since 2015. They committed in May 2021 to purchase VSM 2 and 4, two wind farms developed and built by Voltalia.
“SSM1&2 is our biggest solar project to date: 320 MW, including 50 MW backed by new long-term power sales contracts won since our last communication on the project last year,” says Sébastien Clerc, CEO of Voltalia. “We are now beginning construction with a target to commission the facility during the first half of 2022.”
“SSM1&2 is located in the world’s largest wind and solar cluster, Serra Branca, a 2.4 GW site Voltalia has developed from scratch,” adds Clerc. “Thanks to the SSM1&2 solar plants in Serra Branca, we are fully leveraging our multi-technology advantage: we are optimizing land use by putting solar panels next to wind turbines and making renewable power production more steady during the day.”
When it will be commissioned during the first half of 2022, SSM1&2 will become Voltalia’s largest solar project worldwide.
SSM1&2 is part of the Serra Branca cluster, located in the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Norte. Historically a cluster of wind farms, with record-high production levels (load factor consistently above 50%, allowing to generate one the country’s most competitive energy), Serra Branca is now a combined wind and solar cluster, benefiting from common infrastructures and operating synergies. The two sources of power are complementary because wind is blowing mainly during the night at Serra Branca. Voltalia is retaining ownership of a significant part of the 2.4 GW site while selling the other part to partners who also buy construction and maintenance services from Voltalia.