Mendubim project is an under construction photovoltaic (PV) solar project in the state of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil.

Equinor, Scatec and Hydro REIN hold equal economic interest of 33.3% each in the 531MW solar project.

The Mendubim Solar Project is the second large scale project of Equinor in Brazil after the 162MW Apodi Solar Plant which entered operational stage in 2018.

In December 2022, Equinor made the final investment decision (FID) on the project. The PV solar farm is expected to produce around 1.2 terawatt-hour (TWh) of power annually from 2024.

Location and site details

The Mendubim Solar Project will be located in the municipality of Assú, Rio Grande do Norte.

The site is situated in a rural area comprising agricultural fields where activities such as livestock rearing, Umbu tree planting and occasional crop farming are carried out.

Climate in the region is semi-arid and is affected by high water deficits during nine months of the year.

The project site can be accessed using the federal highway BR-304 and state highway RN233. It is also connected by a network of unpaved roads. The area is sparsely populated.

Project details

The Mendubim Solar Project will involve the construction of a photovoltaic power plant and a substation.

A 5.17km long 230kV transmission line will connect the power plant to the Brazilian interconnected grid at the existing Açu III Substation.

The construction activities began in July 2022. The construction phase of the Mendubim Solar Project will create more than one thousand direct and indirect jobs.

Once complete, Mendubim will produce 1.2TWh of renewable electricity and meet the energy requirements of 620,000 Brazilian households. In the operational stage, the facility will employ around 25 workers.

Project works

The engineering, procurement, and construction services (EPC) for the Mendubim Solar Project will be jointly provided by Equinor, Scatec and Hydro REIN.

Scatec ASA and Hydro REIN will be responsible for the operation and maintenance services. Additionally, Scatec and Hydro REIN will provide asset management services for the solar power project.

Danske Commodities, a wholly owned energy trading house of Equinor and Hydro Energia, is expected to provide power trading services through its office in São Paulo.

Power Purchase Agreement

In July 2022, Scatec, Equinor and Hydro REIN signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Alunorte, an alumina supplier for the aluminium industry. Under the agreement, around 60% of the solar power produced by the project will be supplied to Hydro-subsidary Alunorte.

This will facilitate the decarbonisation of Alunorte and help Hydro to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2030.

The remaining 40% of the power generated by the plant will be sold in the Brazilian power market.


The estimated total capital expenditure (capex) for the Mendubim Solar PV Power Project is $430m. It will be financed by a combination of non-recourse project debt and equity from the partners.

Investment banking company IDB Invest, which finances sustainable companies and projects, is providing $245m funding for the project.

The project is expected to achieve financial close with the first disbursement of project finance debt by the end of 2022.

According to Equinor, Mendubim will deliver real project-based returns in the range of 4-8%.

Equinor in Brazil

Equinor is conducting business in Brazil since 2001. It holds a diversified oil and gas portfolio in Brazil with under development and operational assets.

In renewables, the company’s first solar plant, the Apodi solar plant, is located in the state of Ceará. Equinor has a 43.5% stake in the Scatec-operated plant.

The construction of the plant began in 2017 and it began commercial operation in 2018. The electricity generated by Apodi is sold under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Brazilian Power Commercialization Chamber (CCEE).