Wind Power Takes Center Stage At Brazilian Power Auction

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A recent auction held by the Brazilian National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL), resulted in 42 new electricity generation projects with a total installed capacity of 1,211.5 megawatts (MW), to meet the projected demand of distribution companies in 2016. Of this total, 39 projects were wind farms, totaling 976.5 MW, or 81 percent of the total power traded in the auction.

The average price per MWh was R$102.18 (approx. US$ 55 per MWh), which included an average discount of 8.77 percent. According to Brazil’s Energy Research Company (EPE), the auction fully met the demand of energy distribution companies.

New wind energy plants will be installed in different regions of the country: in the northeast (Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão and Rio Grande do Norte), in the heartland (Goiás), in the south (Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina) and southeast (São Paulo). The total projected investment is R$4.3 billion (approx. US$2.3 billion).

Apart from wind, the San Roque hydroelectric power plant (135 MW) was allocated to the state of Santa Catarina at the price per MWh of R$91.20 (approx. US$49.1 per MWh), which was a 25.85 percent discount to the original price, with expected investments of R$652 million (approx. US$351.1 million).

According to EPE, Brazil’s wind energy potential is estimated to be 143,000 MW, with the ability to reach 300,000 MW with the use of modern generators. Between 2009 and 2010, the country’s wind power generation increased by 50.5 percent; and currently accounts for 0.4 percent of the total electricity produced in Brazil.

Renewable energy accounts for 87.1 of Brazil’s electricity matrix, mainly from hydropower. But there’s pressure in the country for government to bring online wind and solar projects as the hydropower industry eyes the Amazon region for future projects, such as the controversial Belo Monte dam.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.