Just as in several other countries, the Brazilian experience of installing in place solar photovoltaic technology was first aimed at meeting the needs of rural areas. More recently, the effects of the international trend towards grid-connected photovoltaic systems are beginning to be felt in Brazil. In less than five years, the first four grid-connected photovoltaic systems have been installed, and other projects are in progress. This work presents the overall characteristics of the first four systems and the technical performance achieved by one of them, with an annual production in the range of 1500 kW h/kWp. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.