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IDB Invest Promotes 100% Renewable Energy to Help Mitigate Climate Change in Brazil

IDB Invest has provided a loan for up to $130 million with an 18.5-year tenor to Mendubim Geração de Energia S.A., an affiliate of Equinor New Energy AS, Hydro REIN AS and Scatec ASA. The loan will finance the design, construction, commissioning and operation of thirteen photovoltaic plants with a combined capacity of 531 MWp (452 MWac), as well as a 6-kilometer transmission line and other interconnection facilities located in the municipality of Assú in the State of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.


The Mendubim Solar Power Project will help mitigate climate change by reducing GHG emissions and contributing to diversify Brazil’s energy matrix towards cleaner sources. This is achieved by adding solar generation capacity to reduce Brazil’s carbon intensity by cutting over 7,288 ktons CO2eq during the plants’ life.


According to the Ministry of Mining and Energy’s projections, electricity demand of the National Electric System will grow by 2.3% per year on average from 2021 to 2031. To supply this increasing demand for power the Government of Brazil expects strong growth in renewable energy, especially wind and solar power.


This is the third transaction supporting the use of bifacial solar panels in Brazil by IDB Invest, which has played an early mover role in enabling this more energy-productive technology in the country and in the Latin America and the Caribbean overall.  Bifacial solar panel is a technology that increases the energy productivity of photovoltaic solar power plants compared to the use of conventional solar modules, which only absorb light from one side. This increased performance helps reduce generation costs and contributes to increasing the penetration of non-conventional renewable energy.


An important characteristic of the green infrastructure financed by this transaction is that it will supply the highly energy and carbon intensive Alumina Norte do Brasil S.A., a majority-owned Brazilian subsidiary of Norsk Hydro ASA, the world's largest producer of alumina from bauxite ore outside China. The excess energy produced by the photovoltaic plants will be sold in the Brazilian market and incorporated into the grid.


To complement IDB Invest’s loan, IDB Invest mobilized international commercial lenders, Banco Santander and BNP Paribas, through Unfunded Risk Participations for an amount of up to $113 million and a tenor of 15.5 years. The project will constitute the fourth solar plant in Brazil with a long-term US$-linked PPA to be financed under a “project finance” modality.


The operation will also include Performance Based Incentives (PBIs) for a total amount of up to $10 million funded by the UK Sustainable Infrastructure Program (UK SIP) to promote Mendubim’s procurement of 24/7, hourly matched, non-conventional renewable energy for its delivery obligations under the power purchase agreement (PPA )when the solar plant is not producing energy.


The PBIs also include ambitious targets for female and Afro descendant employment in technical positions in the project's construction workforce and the implementation of complementary policies to ensure a supportive work environment, thereby encouraging creation of meaningful project training and employment opportunities for traditionally disadvantaged populations in a state with a high incidence of extreme poverty.


This transaction is expected to contribute to five United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Gender Equality (SDG 5), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Climate Action (SDG 13) and Partnerships for the Objectives (SDG 17).


About IDB Invest

IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social, and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $15.3 billion in asset management and 375 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.


About Equinor New Energy AS

Equinor has conducted business in Brazil since 2001, and the country is considered one of the core areas for Equinor.

Equinor has a solid and diversified oil & gas portfolio in Brazil, with licenses both under development and in production such as Bacalhau, in Santos basin, and Peregrino, in Campos basin.

Within renewables, Equinor is owner in the Apodi solar plant along with the operator, Scatec. In 2022, construction work started in the Mendubim solar project realized in partnership with Scatec and Hydro Rein. Together with Petrobras we are evaluating seven offshore wind projects in Brazil.


About Hydro REIN AS

Hydro Rein is a leading provider of renewable energy solutions to industrials, fully owned by the global renewable energy and aluminum company Hydro. Hydro Rein facilitates access to affordable renewable power, sourced from our portfolio of hydro, solar and wind projects in Brazil and the Nordics. In addition, Hydro Rein also provides solutions for onsite generation, energy efficiency, energy storage and flexibility management. The company has a significant portfolio in the Nordics and in Brazil (1.7GW in construction and operations) with strong near-term growth potential (5 GW in the pipeline).


About Scatec ASA

Scatec is a leading renewable energy solutions provider, accelerating access to reliable and affordable clean energy in emerging markets. As a long-term player, we develop, build, own and operate renewable energy plants, with 4.6 GW in operation and under construction across four continents today. We are committed to grow our renewable energy capacity, delivered by our 700 passionate employees and partners who are driven by a common vision of ‘Improving our Future’. Scatec is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ‘SCATC’. To learn more, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn.


About UK SIP

The UK Sustainable Infrastructure Program (UK SIP) is providing up to £177.5 million from the UK’s International Climate Finance to support partner countries to achieve their emission reduction commitments by mobilizing private investment into low carbon infrastructure. The Program provides public and private sector technical assistance and blended finance investments in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.