Combined wind and solar power plant
Piauí and Pernambuco states, Brazil
Hydro Rein and Green Investment Group
Feijão is a 586MW hybrid wind and solar power project being developed in the Piauí and Pernambuco states of Brazil.
Asset management firm Macquarie Asset Management’s (MAM) Green Investment Group (GIG), a specialist investor in green infrastructure, and Hydro Rein, the renewable energy division of Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro ASA, are developing the project.
The final investment decision for the wind farm’s development is expected in late 2022, while the decision on the solar plant will be taken at a later date.
The wind farm component of the project will be developed with an estimated investment of $700m and is expected to start operations in 2024. It is expected to generate 700 new local jobs during construction.
Hydro Rein signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with GIG for the development of the project in 2020. The initial installed capacity of 620MW was later revised to 586MW.
In June 2022, Hydro Rein signed an agreement with GIG to form a joint venture to build and operate the project. Hydro Rein and GIG will also finalise the development of the project with Casa dos Ventos, a Brazilian renewable energy company.
The Macquarie Green Investment Group Renewable Energy Fund 2 (MGREF2), a renewable energy fund created by MAM and GIG, will own a 50.1% interest in the wind farm, while Hydro Rein will own the remaining 49.9%.
The project is being developed in the States of Piauí and Pernambuco, located in the north-east of Brazil.
The north-east region of Brazil is home to 90% of the country’s installed wind energy capacity due to the favourable climate conditions and strong winds. The country has a total capacity of 21GW from 777 completed wind energy plants with a further 4.9GW of capacity currently under construction.
Details of Feijão hybrid wind and solar project
The Feijão hybrid power project will be developed in two phases. Phase one includes the development of the 456MW wind farm, while phase two includes the development of the 130MW solar power plant.
The wind farm will feature 80 N163/5.X onshore wind turbines, supplied by the Nordex Group, with a generating capacity of about 5MW each. The supply and installation of the turbines on concrete towers is expected in 2023.
The infrastructure for the wind project includes a medium-voltage network, substations and transmission lines. It will also involve the construction of access roads, drainage systems and foundations for the wind turbines.
The infrastructure development and civil engineering works are anticipated to be completed within 18 months.
Nordex Group’s N163/5.X wind turbines are part of its DELTA4000 5.X turbine series. Each turbine will have a diameter of 163m, swept area of 20,867m² (224,610ft²) and hub height of 120m.
The turbines have a cut-in wind speed of 3m/s and cut-out wind speed of 26m/s. They also have 20% higher efficiency and annual energy production (AEP) with less sound and more power.
Power purchase agreement
The clean energy generated from the project will power the operations of Hydro’s Paragominas bauxite mine and Alunorte alumina refinery, which are located in the state of Para.
The Paragominas mine and Alunorte refinery signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) under the Brazilian self-production structure in June 2022.
The PPAs will enable Hydro to reduce carbon emissions from the Alunorte refinery. It will also support Hydro in achieving its goal of a 30% reduction in carbon emissions as part of its initiative to eliminate coal from its operations by 2030.
Germany-based wind turbine manufacturer Nordex Group was contracted to supply 80 N163/5.X turbines for the wind farm in July 2022. The contract also includes a 20-year premium service agreement for the turbines.
Elecnor do Brasil, a subsidiary of Spain-based project development and construction company Elecnor Group, is responsible for the construction of the civil infrastructure and electromechanical balance of plant works for the wind project.
US-based law firm Paul Hastings and Brazil-based business law firm Veirano Advogados represented Alunorte and Paragominas for the PPA agreements.