July 4, 2019 / 6:03 AM / 3 months ago

CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-Lightsource BP makes major Brazil solar acquisition

(In last paragraph, corrects to five states, not sites, after company corrected its statement)

* Solar energy firm buys 1.9GW of projects from Enerlife

* Projects at various stages of development

* Value of deal not disclosed

* Brazil’s solar market around 1% of total generation capacity

By Ron Bousso

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) - Solar energy developer Lightsource BP has acquired a large number of projects in Brazil with a potential to nearly double its current global capacity.

The London-based firm, in which BP holds a 43% stake, said in a statement it bought 1.9 gigawatt of projects from independent renewables developer Enerlife for an undisclosed sum.

The utility-scale solar projects are at different stages, from early land permits to more advanced developments with grid connections.

Solar power contributes just over 1% of Brazil’s total electricity generation, which is expected to soar in the coming decades.

“These are the building blocks of which we will grow a very successful solar business across Brazil,” Lightsource BP Chief Operating Officer Kareen Boutonnat said in a statement.

Lightsource will target mainly corporate and industrial buyers in both the regulated and unregulated market, according to Vlasios Souflis, director for international business development.

The Brazilian government last week awarded licences for new power generation projects that would add 402 megawatts (MW) of capacity by 2023 at record-low price for solar generation. Enerlife was awarded over 160 megawatt in five solar projects.

Lightsource BP is the largest European utility solar developer with over $3 billion invested across nearly 2 gigawatt of solar projects around the world, according to Lightsource BP’s statement.

The company has in recent years expanded its operations in the U.S. states of California, Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as in Egypt and India.

The Enerlife portfolio consists of 1.9 gigawatts of solar projects, including of 440 megawatt in late stage development as well as 180 megawatt of distributed generation projects across five states, each one up to 5 megawatt capacity, Lightsource BP said.

Reporting by Ron Bousso. Editing by Jane Merriman

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