Equinor's first solar plant starts commercial operation

  • The Apodi Solar Plant, in Brazil, is expected to produce around 340,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually.
  • Equinor employs more than 20,000 people and develops oil, gas, wind and solar.
  • The Norwegian state owns 67 percent of the business.
Close up of a solar panel
Image Source | Image Source | Getty Images

Energy business Equinor's "first step into solar energy" has been connected to the grid and is in commercial operation.

The 162-megawatt Apodi Solar Plant, in Ceara State, Brazil, is expected to produce around 340,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, Equinor said Wednesday. This is enough to provide energy for over 170,000 homes.

Pal Eitrheim, Equinor's executive vice president for New Energy Solutions, described the news as a "strategic milestone" for the business.

In October 2017, the firm – formerly known as Statoil – set up a joint venture with Norwegian solar power company Scatec Solar to construct, own and operate "large-scale solar plants in Brazil." Earlier this month, Equinor acquired a minority shareholding in Scatec Solar.

Equinor and Scatec each own 43.75 percent of the Apodi facility, with the remainder owned by holding company Apodi Participacoes.

"The Apodi project was our first step into the solar industry," Eitrheim added. "With the plant now in operation and through our excellent collaboration with Scatec Solar, we are complementing Equinor's portfolio with profitable solar energy."

Equinor employs more than 20,000 people and develops oil, gas, wind and solar. The Norwegian state owns 67 percent of the business.