Yaskawa – Solectria Solar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of robot and industrial motor company Yaskawa America, is planning to install a 500MW central solar inverter manufacturing line within an existing plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to help support the Latin American PV market.
International business manager at Yaskawa – Solectria Solar, Mercedes Pereyra Boue, told PV Tech that the firm has started building prototypes inside the factory. The photovoltaic line is expected to be installed by Q3 this year
Yaskawa bought Solectria two years ago so the firms are now sharing the factory in Sao Paulo, said Boue.
The progress of solar equipment manufacturing infrastructure in Brazil is of particular importance given that the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) includes local content requirements in its criteria for offering funding to PV developers. For example, to qualify for BNDES funding from 2018, all junction boxes, inverters and support structures used in projects must to be sourced locally.
In a release, Boue also said: “We already have an established presence and the equipment is built in Brazil, saving [customers] BOS and shipping costs.”
Solectria has also established a sales and service office, which will be co-located with Yaskawa Elétrico do Brasil, the Brazilian subsidiary of automation product manufacturer Yaskawa America.
A release from Yaskawa stated that Brazil is the most attractive location in Latin America due to its PV policies, including federal energy auctions, net metering and tax exemptions.
However, while much of 2015 was spent creating a supportive policy framework for solar, the country has yet to see meaningful capacity additions on the ground.
Phil Vyhanek, president of Yaskawa, Solectria Solar, said “Yaskawa – Solectria Solar has seen large growth in the PV industry and its customers in Latin America and expects this growth to continue. Since Yaskawa Elétrico do Brasil has been established in Brazil for over 40 years, this gives us a great advantage of manufacturing most competitively priced products.”
PV Tech’s preliminary analysis of global PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements for 2016 revealed that Brazil had 300MW in the pipeline.