Echoenergia is Brazil’s largest independent renewable energy platform. It was established by Actis with nearly 700 MW in operation, eventually rising to 1.2GW by 2022, when Actis exited its investment. The current portfolio also includes a proprietary pipeline of ready-to-build projects representing a further 1.1GW.
Actis acquired two windfarm projects at the end of 2016 and early 2017, using them as the basis from which to launch Echoenergia. These acquisitions enabled the business to begin operation with a sizeable and high-quality portfolio. Subsequent acquisitions and new-build projects led to a doubling in capacity by the time Actis exited the investment.
During the time of our ownership, an organisational focus on operating excellence was embedded in the company, which included delivering technical and commercial enhancements and executing the first long-term Power Purchase Agreement in the Brazil C&I (Consumer & Industrial) space. As a result of the efforts, within three years of its inception Echoenergia had been transformed from a disparate combination of assets into Brazil’s largest independent renewable platform.
However, as well as providing clean, low-cost power and supporting Brazil’s goal of installing more renewable generation infrastructure, under Actis’ ownership the business carried out a number of community initiatives. Indeed, throughout its tenure of ownership, Actis fostered an extensive corporate social responsibility programme within the company. This directly benefitted around 53,000 people, and offset at least 4.5 million tonnes of CO2.
As a result of Actis’ efforts, within three years of its inception Echoenergia had been transformed from a disparate combination of assets into Brazil’s largest independent renewable platform, with a contracted portfolio of more than 1.2GW and with a clear path for further growth underpinned by its 1.1 GW proprietary pipeline.
In particular, Echoenergia focuses on three primary pillars of local community engagement: education, economic wellbeing, and water access for personal and agricultural use. The platform has invested more than BRL15 million ($3 million) in these projects, to date. The latter project in particular provides opportunities for generating income and the promotion of production chains that show significant potential, such as family farming, carpentry, sewing and fish farming. Echoenergia has also made meaningful contributions to the education of local children living near the project sites. Students in more than 100 schools benefit from training provided to teachers and other education professionals, as well as from the construction of new and better facilities. Digital centres have also been built, where access to computers and the internet is provided to hundreds of people every month, promoting digital inclusion and ensuring that students and community members have access to content and education beyond the classroom.
Actis successfully exited Echoenergia in 2022, selling the business to a Bovespa-listed utilities company in what is considered to be Brazil’s largest renewables M&A transaction. Actis’ ownership cemented Echoenergia’s position as Brazil’s largest independent renewable energy platform, and positioned it to fully support the country’s energy transition.