Brazilian utility Companhia Energetica de Sao Paulo, better known as CESP, has commenced the operation of a 500-kW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, the country’s first of its kind.

The pilot plant required an investment of BRL 57 million (USD 11.4m/EUR 10.3m), CESP announced on Monday. The CSP plant is located next to the 1,540-MW Porto Primavera hydropower complex in Rosana municipality, Sao Paulo state.

Developed under a research and development (R&D) programme dedicated to the solar thermal power source and regulated by power sector watchdog Aneel, the new CSP facility should be capable of generating enough electricity to meet the demand of 360 households.

In addition to the CSP plant, Porto Primavera also features experimental photovoltaic (PV), green hydrogen and energy storage equipment. Together, these components add up to a little over 1 MW, CESP noted.