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A 766MW Sol de Cerrado solar project in Minas Gerais

Vale SA has reported the Sol de Cerrado solar energy project in Jaiba municipality, Minas Gerais. The project will greatly contribute to Vale’s support to renewables and transition to green and competitive energy. A photovoltaic plant will be built with 17 sub-parks, which will have a total capacity of 766 MWp (766 megawatts peak). Also, a transmission line, elevator substation, and connection bay would be installed. The contract for the connection to the Brazilian National Interconnected System would be signed. 

The total project cost would be $500 million and would be eligible for lasting financing lines. This investment would not only help in attaining competitiveness and sustainability goals; it will also help to decrease around $70 million in power costs each year. The project is expected to start operating in the fourth quarter of 2022, producing 193MWa per year on average for Vale’s operations. This corresponds to 13% of Vale’s expected demand by 2025. So far, the project has been approved by Vale’s Board of Directors, and right now, it is undergoing customary closing conditions, which include National Electric Energy Agency’s approval. 

The project will generate energy from a solar source, which is 100% renewable, and it is expected to decrease Vale’s scope 2 emissions by 136,407 tCO2e per year. After starting its operations, the Sol de Cerrado project would be essential as it will significantly contribute to its medium and long-term sustainability goals. These include the Paris Agreement, the 2050 carbon-neutrality, and a 33% decrease in Vale’s scope 1 and 2 emissions. This project would also play a vital role in the Brazilian goal for 100% power from renewable sources by 2050 and 100% renewable power usage worldwide by 2030. Vale has set aside $2 billion to be used in the reduction of carbon emissions, and the Sol de Cerrado solar project is part of this investment. 

Vale is also a stake in Acaua and Gravier wind projects, which are located in Rio Grande do Norte and Ceara, respectively. These two projects have an installed capacity of 180.6MW, with an extra 100% power generation from the Santo Inacio wind farm. Vale also plans to buy 60%-100% of Folha Larga Sul Project shares, which has a capacity of 151.2MW in Compo Formoso. Folha Large Sul Company supplies 60% of its energy production to Vale and its subsidiaries. The call option is expected to occur in the second half of 2022 following the Company’s Board of Directors’ Approval.

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