The Enel Group is investing approximately $1.1bn dollars at the current exchange rate for the construction of the new facilities.
The company is building the 396MW Lagoa dos Ventos III wind farm, as well as the 256MW São Gonçalo III solar park, in the Piauí state. The remaining three wind projects – Morro do Chapéu Sul II (353MW), Cumaru (206MW), and Fontes dos Ventos II (99MW) are being built in the states of Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, and Pernambuco, respectively.
Enel Green Power CEO Salvatore Bernabei said: “The start of construction of 1.3GW of new renewable capacity is an unprecedented milestone in the history of our company in Brazil, especially in view of the challenges imposed by the current scenario.
“These new projects further strengthen our position as leaders in Brazil’s solar and wind generation markets, while highlighting our commitment towards the development of the Brazilian renewable sector in order to diversify the country’s energy mix, as well as contribute to the economic and social development of the local communities in which we are present.”
The new parks are expected to start operating in 2021, with the exception of Lagoa dos Ventos III, which is due to start commercial operations in 2022. Their work will be supported by power supply contracts negotiated with corporate customers in the Brazilian free energy market.
Once fully operational, the five new parks will generate more than 5.5TWh of energy per year, cutting approximately three million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually.
Several solutions are being put in place on the construction sites of the projects to ensure the safety, quality, and efficiency of works, including active safety devices, automated machines, drones, remote assistance, and digital tools to support the sites’ activities.
In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the company is working to ensure the necessary protection to the workers involved in the construction, as well as to the communities where the parks are being installed.
In Brazil, the Enel Group has a total renewable installed capacity of over 3.4GW, of which 1,210MW is wind, 979MW solar, and 1,269MW hydroelectric.
Despite concerns that Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s favouritism of the national industry over environmental protection might temper Brazil’s renewable energy progress, Bolsonaro’s actions do not seem to impede wind and solar energy generation for the moment.
The president recently dismissed a proposed solar tax to solar projects under 5MW to secure stable distributed generation and ensure competitive advantage for the sector.