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SAO PAULO, Sept 2 (Reuters) - U.S.-based SunEdison Inc will build a plant in Brazil to produce photovoltaic panels for use in solar farms the company intends to install in the country, said SunEdison local director Luis Pita on Wednesday.
SunEdison, which is in a joint venture with Brazil's Renova Energia SA to install solar farms here, will decide in the coming weeks the location and size of its plant, Pita said.
"Our target is to achieve at least 1 gigawatt in solar projects in association with Renova in four or five years," the director told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Sao Paulo.
Brazil is a latecomer to solar power. The government has adopted policies recently to stimulate production of electricity from solar and other renewable energy sources such as wind and biomass, looking to reduce the country's dependence on large hydroelectric plants following droughts in the past two years.
Since 2014, Brazil has promoted two auctions for rights to build, operate and sell power from solar projects, granting contracts to dozens of companies that will build 61 new solar farms.
The SunEdison-Renova JV won licenses for 167 megawatt of new solar installations that should begin producing power by 2017.
Pita says its new plant should be delivering panels by 2016, so decisions regarding its construction should come quickly.
He said Brazil and Mexico are the markets with the largest potentials for growth in Latin America due to the size of their economies, high energy costs and advanced regulatory frameworks. (Reporting by Luciano Costa; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)