The company will invest R$ 2.9 billion in this renewable energy source in Brazil by 2020, ranking the country eighth in the world
Between 2018 and 2020, ENGIE will invest R$ 2.9 billion in wind projects in Brazil as part of its global strategy for growth through the generation of power from renewable sources. The Company has two major wind complexes under construction in the state of Bahia: Campo Largo, which began commercial operations on July 04, and Umburanas, where civil work continues with operations scheduled to begin in 2019. The operations will have a capacity to generate 326.7 MW and 360 MW respectively in their initial phases.
“Wind power plants account for about 60% of the capacity of our plants at an advanced development phase, that is those where construction has still not begun but which qualify to take part in the regulated power procurement auctions”, says Chief Executive Officer of ENGIE Brasil Energia, Eduardo Sattamini, an example being the Santo Agostinho (700 MW) project in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. Over the medium term, the Company’s installed capacity has the potential to be expanded by 2 GW.
Wind power generation has seen rapid growth in Brazil and in February, reached a total of 13 Gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity and almost equaling the same output as the Itaipu hydroelectric power plant (14 GW). As a result, Brazil is now placed eighth in the world ranking for wind power generation, surpassing Canada and only slightly below France.
The Campo Largo and Umburanas complexes received R$ 273.6 million in investments in the first three months of 2018. The Trairi (115 MW) and Santa Mônica (97.2 MW) complexes, both in the state of Ceará, are already operating commercially together with a research and development unit in Tubarão, Santa Catarina (2.1 MW).
Campo Largo and Umburanas
Campo Largo is located in an area of 44 thousand hectares in the municipalities of Umburanas and Sento Sé, 420 km from the city of Salvador. The first phase of the complex will consist of 11 wind farms. Commercial operations at the Campo Largo VII wind farm with 11 wind turbines and an installed capacity of 29.7 MW were authorized by the National Electric Energy Agency on July 04. “The Campo Largo/Umburanas cluster is the largest wind complex that ENGIE has ever developed”, says Sattamini. “The major challenge is logistics for executing activities over an extensive area with more than 70 km of internal accesses”.
In January, ENGIE began civil construction work on the Umburanas complex with the building of internal roads and the foundations for the 144 wind turbines of its 18 wind parks. Forecasts are for completion of this stage of the work by December. Parallel to this, transmission lines are being built together with a substation to be energized at the end of October.
The two complexes will enjoy infrastructural synergies as well as being instrumental in bringing several benefits to the local community, hitherto lacking in both infrastructure and services.
“We are employing 2,300 people at the two complexes and investments in social projects already amount to R$ 6 million in addition to the R$ 7 million already expended on paving the external access route”, declares Sattamini. Projects include the donation of ambulances to Umburanas Health Department, the installation of irrigated community vegetable gardens, refurbishment of the roof of a school and the re-urbanization of a city square incorporating a leisure area for children and adolescents. The other initiative already with excellent results is the investment of R$ 700 thousand in a literacy project for young people and adults and more than 150 enrollments. “This is an initiative which makes me very happy since we are transforming the reality of these people, expanding their horizons and their perception of life by teaching them to read and write”, says the executive.
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