In November 2016, GPG reached an agreement with Grupo Gransolar (GRS) to acquire 85% of two photovoltaic projects in Brazil. On 26 December, construction works began on what would become the country’s first power generation project, as well as the first photovoltaic generation plant outside Spain.
The plants in Sobral and Sertao, which will produce an estimated 154 GWh per year, are part of an agreement with the Brazilian State system to sell generated energy over 20 years. Each plant occupies 100 hectares and includes over 100,000 panels; 10,000 units are installed every day, which translates into 2.6 MW, and explains the over 900 workers needed for this.
A new milestone for GPG
The construction of these plants by GRS was a challenge in a country like Brazil, and because there were few references on the new technology being used. However, GPG was able to overcome these challenges in record time.
More challenges then followed, as major efforts were required by GRS and GPG’s operations in the pre-operational phase team due to time constraints.
The operation and maintenance of these two plants –each spanning over 100 hectares and made up of 108,000 modules– is a challenge in terms of equipment monitoring and requires managing a large number of routine tasks swiftly and safely, with a reduced and unusual organisation. This is why an effort to adapt and implement our processes was necessary.
Safety comes first
However, the adaptation was at all times carried out without jeopardising security; one of the Group’s strongest commitments, and an other aspect that explains the success of the project. This was made possible thanks to another of the key points in the pre-operational phase: training and integrating the operating company GRS in O&M as well as in safety, in addition to adopting the Gas Natural Fenosa standards in the new photovoltaic sector.
Developing these plants is for all of these reasons a significant milestone for GPG in terms of its commitment to renewable energy and particularly to solar energy, which also allows the company to acquire experience in these types of projects.