Brazil Introduces New Regulations for Hybrid Power Plants

The new regulations clearly define the definition of hybrid power plants and the applicable grid tariff standards, which may be particularly beneficial to wind-solar hybrid power generation projects, especially in the northeast of Brazil, where underdeveloped power grids are difficult to support the further development of renewable energy.

Brazil’s energy regulator, Aneel, approved a new hybrid power plant operating regulation last Tuesday.

Resolution No. 954/2021 defines which are hybrid power generation projects and establishes rules for permitting and contracting the use of transmission systems. In addition, the new regulations also clarify what kind of electricity tariff standards these power plants need to use when using the grid, as well as the reductions and exemptions that can be applied for.

This regulation is seen as an important step to help Brazil use the synergies of different energy sources to generate electricity, allowing the combination of different sources of power generation, including photovoltaic, wind, hydropower, and thermal power plants.

The regulatory agency believes that the combination of utility-scale facilities is expected to use the transmission network in a more effective and stable manner, while helping power plant operators reduce risks and save land acquisition costs and other costs.

“The approval of the proposed regulations will be a milestone in the development of hybrid power plants-the resulting technological diversity will help Brazil’s power sector to modernize,” said Elisa Bastos, director of Aneel. “Incorporate these projects into the power system. Costs can be reduced and new funds invested in expanding the grid can be postponed.”

“For the power sector, this regulation is a qualitative leap, and it has now become a priority on our innovation agenda,” Aneel Director General André Pepitone pointed out. “Aneel insisted on predictability throughout the process of formulating new regulations. The principles of gender and transparency have recently been recognized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).”

Aneel will soon approve procedural matters related to the feasibility of hybrid power plants, and revise grid procedures and commercialization rules.

Prior to this new resolution, Aneel had piloted several hybrid wind-solar projects in Brazil. One of them was Votorantim Energia, the energy division of the Brazilian multinational company Votorantim. Install 68.7 MW of photovoltaic facilities on a piece of land. The entire complex is scheduled to be put into use in early 2023, and its total installed capacity will reach 274.6 MW, and energy will be sold on the free market. A study conducted in 2017 by Empresa de Pesquisa Energética, an energy agency managed by the Brazilian government, pointed out that for hybrid wind-solar projects, the particularities of each geographic area must be considered, and the benefits of each project must be evaluated one by one. Among other things, the scope of the study included analysis of the advantages of deploying these projects in northeastern Brazil, where the transmission grid has limited capacity compared to the installed capacity of the proposed wind and solar projects.

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