Anglo American renews clean energy commitment in Brazil

Atlas Renewable Energy, a leading renewable energy company in Latin America, and Anglo American have signed the largest solar energy purchase and sale contract in Brazil worth an estimated BRL881 million ($190 million).

The clean energy supply contract will see the Atlas Casablanca photovoltaic solar plant, in Minas Gerais, supply about 9 TWh over a 15-year period, commencing in 2022.

This contract is part of Anglo American’s strategy to use 100% renewable energy for its operations in Brazil as of 2022 and is part of Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan, which has among its goals to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030.

In addition to the Minas-Rio iron ore operation, in Minas Gerais, Anglo also has the Barro Alto nickel operation (Goiás).

The Atlas Casablanca solar plant has an installed capacity of 330 MW with more than 800,000 modules, according to Atlas. This is enough energy to supply a city of 1.4 million inhabitants, according to the average consumption of a Brazilian family, it says.

“Atlas Renewable Energy will use bifacial modules in the Atlas Casablanca solar plant, a cutting-edge technology in the generation of solar energy,” the company said. “These novel solar panels are able to use the reflection of the sun’s rays from their front and back sides, increasing the efficiency of the photoelectric conversion, and therefore increasing the energy generation and efficiency of the plant.”

Wilfred Bruijn, CEO of Anglo American in Brazil, said: “With this agreement and the contract for the construction of a wind power plant in Bahia (an agreement with AES Tietê) signed in December, we will now be sourcing 90% of our energy from renewable sources, leading to a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions associated with our activities.”

Carlos Barrera, Atlas Renewable Energy CEO, said: “Atlas is leading in the new trend of providing clean energy directly to large energy consumers. The forms of supply are being transformed, making clean sources available to large companies, thus reducing their carbon footprint and production costs.

“Atlas is proud of pioneering, once again, the bilateral solar PPA in a new Latin American country. Our team was the first to implement a solar Private PPA in Chile some eight years ago, and now we do so in Brazil. We would like to acknowledge and congratulate Anglo American’s leadership for their commitment to become a more sustainable institution.”