May 3, 2017 / 3:30 PM / a year ago

Brazil's CPFL creates solar power company to sell home kits

SAO PAULO, May 3 (Reuters) - Brazil’s CPFL Energia SA , the country’s largest private power company, on Wednesday launched a new firm called Envo with the aim of tapping the growing market for solar powered homes in Brazil.

CPFL, whose controlling stake was acquired by China’s State Grid Corp last year for 14.2 billion reais ($4.52 billion), said it would offer a full range of services for electricity customers willing to use solar power. That would include equipment, installation and assistance to allow the user to connect their system to the local power grid and sell excess energy to the distribution company.

Brazil, which has for decades relied on a power system based on large hydroelectric dams, recently moved to diversify its energy matrix and was a late comer to solar power, despite having some of the world’s highest solar radiation levels.

Since new regulation was approved for consumers to install and connect their solar generation projects to the grid in 2015, many companies have started to offer related services. With Envo, CPFL wants to grab a share of that market.

“Many consumers are increasingly worried about the environmental impact of power generation, and also looking to reduce their power bills,” CPFL Energia Chief Executive Andre Dorf said in a conference call with reporters.

Dorf said connections of solar generation projects to the national grid increased from 7,500 at the end of 2016 to 10,000 until April.

“We are seeing a quick development of this market in the world and in Brazil,” he said. CPFL declined to say how much it was investing in the new venture.

China is the world’s largest producer of solar power equipment, but the executive did not say if CPFL could use its proximity to China as per their new management to explore options to purchase equipment.

He said CPFL would buy the panels wherever it was cheaper.

Banco Santander Brasil SA will offer financing for new clients of Envo, who can run a simulation of costs, how long it would take for the system to pay for itself and other details at the company’s website. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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