UPDATE 1-Canada's Brookfield gets OK to build Brazil solar power plants

(Adds Brookfield’s statement)

SAO PAULO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc has received the go-ahead from Brazilian antitrust regulator Cade for certain solar energy projects in the country’s northeast, according to a decision published in the government’s official gazette on Tuesday.

The solar power plants, to be built in the state of Ceará, will have total capacity to produce 278 MW of electricity, according to a description of the projects in Cade’s decision.

The move underscores Brookfield’s drive to expand its presence in Brazil’s electricity sector, where it operates hydro power dams, wind farms and electricity transmission assets.

In an emailed statement to Reuters, Brookfield said the acquisition marks its debut into solar energy production in Brazil. Construction of the projects will begin in the first half and be completed by the end of 2021, the company said.

After the work is finished, Brookfield will have its generation capacity in Brazil expanded to 1.9 GW, according to the statement.

The company has 66 assets in the South American country, including 43 hydroelectric plants, 19 wind farms and 4 biofuel co-generation plants. (Reporting by Luciano Costa Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Bernadette Baum)