Atlas Renewable Adds NEXTracker Solar Software In Latin America


Clean Power

Published on January 31st, 2019 | by Charles W. Thurston

January 31st, 2019 by Charles W. Thurston 

Atlas Renewable Energy has adopted NEXTracker’s TrueCapture orientation software for several new solar projects in Latin America, while retrofits are in the works for older arrays lacking the control system. Atlas has more than 1 gigawatt of early-stage to fully operational projects across the region.

Atlas, which was formed in 2017, will use the technology for three projects in Brazil under construction and development, including Juazeiro and Sertão Solar in the state of Bahia, and Sol do Futuro, in Ceará state.

Atlas uses TrueCapture at its Quilapilun array in Chile. Credit Atlas Renewable Energy

TrueCapture technology dynamically adjusts the angular position of each tracker row in response to site features, weather conditions, and geospatial location of the arrays, says NEXTracker. The system, which includes machine learning and advanced sensor technology, can boost the energy yield of an array by 4% to 6%, depending on site conditions, according to Dan Shugar, the founder of the company.

“The TrueCapture technology is an exciting new solar tracker innovation allowing granular row-to-row control and optimization to enhance energy production,” said Carlos Barrera, CEO and co-founder of Atlas Renewable Energy, in a statement.

“We have successfully collaborated since Atlas Renewable Energy’s inception and we’re excited and appreciative to be integrating our proven TrueCapture technology with Atlas Renewable Energy’s fleet from Mexico to Chile, significantly enhancing plant energy yields,” Shugar said in a statement.

Actis formed Atlas Renewable Energy in February 2017, when it announced a commitment amounting to $525 million to establish a Pan-Latin American renewable energy platform, Atlas Renewable Energy, Actis states on its website. Atlas “will target over 1,500 MWs of installed capacity across the Latin America region,” the company says.

Actis completed the acquisition of over 1,500 MW of solar PV assets from SunEdison in Latin America in 2017. The deal included an agreement to acquire assets including 578 MW of contracted projects in operation, construction or advanced development stage, and over 1,000 MW of projects in early stage development.

Atlas Renewable Energy’s growth strategy involves both partnering in new projects and developing its own proprietary pipeline, with a focus on solar PV projects across Latin America. Core target markets will include Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay and Chile, Actis states.

“The business will leverage Actis’ expertise in the power sector, especially in project finance, construction, and operations, to build a leading power generation company in the region. Atlas is Actis’ fifth power generation platform in Latin America, following recent investments in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Central America,” Actis adds.

Atlas is the fifth energy company that Actis has formed in the larger countries of the region. Actis also lists three energy company formations in Central America on its website.

In 2017, Actis also formed Echoenergia, a wind platform operating in the northeast of Brazil. The platforms’ current two wind farms, with contracted 20-year power purchase agreements, total 346 MW. Tiangua, located in Ceara state, has an installed capacity of 130 MW and Sao Clemente, located in Pernambuco state, has 216 MW.

Similarly, Actis formed Atlantic Energias Renovaveis in Brazil in 2013 to build over 650 MW of hydro and wind generation capacity by 2018. Atlantic develops, owns, and operates wind farms and small run-of-the-river hydro plants across Brazil.

Prior to forming Atlas, Actis formed Zuma Energía in Mexico September 2014, in partnership with Mesomerica Investments, the company states. Actis invested $245 million for a 70% stake at the formation. Zuma Energía is an energy generation development platform, will acquire and develop projects across Mexico, aiming to provide a total of over 500 MW of newly installed energy capacity.

Similarly, Actis formed Aela Energía in Chile in 2013, with an investment of $290 million, in partnership with Mainstream Renewable Power. The company was formed to to provide at least 600 MW of cost-effective power in Chile.

Atlas Renewable Energy, based in Miami, powers 1.2 GW of contracted projects in construction or operational stages across its offices in Chile, Mexico, and Brazil.

NEXTracker, a Flex company, manufactures smart solar trackers, energy storage systems, 
and TrueCapture advanced control software that yields additional energy, optimizes performance and reduces costs for project and plant owners, the company states. NEXTracker is the number-one tracker supplier worldwide with over 17 GW delivered or under fulfillment, for hundreds of projects across five continents. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, the company has offices in Australia, India, Latin America, and Europe.

Actis is a London-based investor in growth markets across Africa, Asia, and Latin America that currently manages a portfolio of $7.8 billion, the company says. Founded in 2004, Actis has an unparalleled heritage in growth markets, set within a culture of active ownership and has raised $14 billion since inception, operating through 16 offices globally, it adds. 


Tags: Actis, Aela Energía, Atlantic Energias Renovaveis, Atlas Renewable Energy, Echoenergia, Flex, Mainstream Renewable Power, Mesomerica Investments, NEXTracker, Solar Trackers, SunEdison, TrueCapture, Zuma Energia

About the Author

Charles W. Thurston Charles specializes in renewable energy, from finance to technological processes. Among key areas of focus are bifacial panels and solar tracking. He has been active in the industry for over 25 years, living and working in locations ranging from Brazil to Papua New Guinea.

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