Private equity firm Denham Capital has announced the sale of Rio Energy assets to energy giant Equinor, as the latter expands its renewables portfolio.  

The transaction includes the entire Rio Energy team and other selected assets, while some parts of the company will be retained by the US private equity company.  

The acquired portfolio consists of the 200MW Serra da Babilonia 1 onshore wind farm in the north-eastern state of Bahia, a 600MW pre-construction solar PV portfolio and a project pipeline of around 1.2GW of onshore wind and solar projects. Rio Energy will become a fully owned subsidiary of Equinor. 

Denham Capital established Rio Energy in 2012. “To date, it has built four operational onshore wind farms and has one under construction”, Sarah Lane, managing director at Denham Capital, told Power Technology.  

“The smallest individual asset we have is just over 50MW and the largest is just over 200MW. So, they are in that kind of mid-to-reasonably large scale,” she added. 

“We believe that now is the right time to move forward with Equinor, as we strive to deliver on our commitment to bring about a more sustainable future for Brazil,” said Marcos Meireles, CEO of Rio Energy, in a statement. 

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Norwegian oil company Equinor has invested in a number of renewable energy projects in recent years, including Wento in Poland, BeGreen in Denmark, Noriker Power in the UK and East Point Energy in the US. 

“I think it is really exciting to see a lot more companies get involved in renewable generation and development and looking to create kind of long-term sustainable power across the globe,” Lane added. 

Rio Energy and Brazil’s renewables industry 

According to a statement from the company, Denham is retaining 1.1GW of Rio Energy’s assets, including three operational onshore wind projects – the 100MW Caetité project, the 200MW Itarema project and the 200MW Serra da Babilônia 3 project.  

Denham will also retain the 200MW in-construction Caetité Norte onshore wind project and 400MW of onshore wind and solar pipeline projects. The company intends to establish new management for the projects and bring them to the market in the coming year. 

“We are not just focusing on the environmental side, which naturally comes with renewable energy, but we are also making sure that the social side and integrating with those communities and maintaining biodiversity is core to everything we are doing,” Lane stated. 

Equinor already holds a number of renewable projects in Brazil, including the 162MW Apodi solar facility in Ceara state and the 531MW Mendubim solar complex in Rio Grande do Norte state, which is currently under construction. 

“Through Rio Energy, Equinor will take a leading position in the rapidly growing Brazilian renewables industry,” said Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice-president for renewables, in a statement

According to Equinor, Brazil is the largest power market in South America. Brazil accounts for almost 7% of the planet’s renewable energy production, according to the International Energy Agency, “outpacing its 3% share of the global population and 2% share of global gross domestic product”.  

Equinor has a target to reach net-zero scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 and allocate more than 30% of annual gross spending to renewables and low-carbon solutions by 2025, allocating more than 50% by 2030.