The Enel Group’s Brazilian renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power Brasil Participações Ltda. (“EGPB”) has started the construction of five new renewable plants in northeastern Brazil, specifically four wind farms and one solar plant for a total of 1.3 GW of new capacity. In Piauí, the company is building the 396 MW Lagoa dos Ventos III wind farm and the 256 MW São Gonçalo III solar park. The remaining three wind projects – Morro do Chapéu Sul II (353 MW), Cumaru (206 MW) and Fontes dos Ventos II (99 MW) – are being built in the states of Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte and Pernambuco, respectively.
“The start of construction of 1.3 GW 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,” said Salvatore Bernabei, CEO of Enel Green Power. “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 Enel Group is investing about 5.6 billion Brazilian reais in the construction of these projects, the equivalent of approximately 1.1 billion US dollars at current exchange rates. The new parks will be mainly supported by power supply contracts negotiated with corporate customers in the Brazilian free energy market and are expected to start operating in 2021, with the exception of Lagoa dos Ventos III, which is due to start commercial operations in 2022. Once fully operational, the five new parks will be able to generate more than 5.5 TWh of energy per year, avoiding the emission of approximately 3 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually.
Lagoa dos Ventos III (396 MW) is located in the municipality of Dom Inocêncio, in the State of Piauí, where the company is building the 716 MW Lagoa dos Ventos wind facility, which is Enel Green Power’s largest wind farm worldwide. With the new 396 MW project, which will require an investment of around 353 million US dollars, the total capacity of Lagoa dos Ventos will reach around 1.1 GW.
São Gonçalo III (256 MW), whose construction will involve an investment of around 142 million US dollars, is located in the municipality of São Gonçalo do Gurguéia in the State of Piauí, where the 608 MW São Gonçalo solar park, 475 MW of which are already in operation and a 133 MW expansion is in the final construction phase, is also located. With the addition of the new 256 MW project, the overall installed capacity of São Gonçalo, which is South America’s largest solar park, will amount to around 864 MW.
Morro do Chapéu Sul II (353 MW) is located in the municipalities of Morro do Chapéu and Cafarnaum, in the State of Bahia, in the same region where the already operational 172 MW Morro do Chapéu Sul wind farm, which started operations in January 2018, is located. The construction of Morro do Chapéu Sul II will require an investment of approx. 340 million US dollars.
The 206 MW Cumaru wind farm is located in the municipality of São Miguel do Gostoso, in the State of Rio Grande do Norte and its construction will require an investment of around 184 million US dollars.
The 99 MW Fontes dos Ventos II wind farm is located in the municipality of Tacaratu, in the State of Pernambuco, where, since 2015, Enel Green Power has been operating Brazil’s first wind-solar hybrid plant, which combines the Fontes dos Ventos I wind farm and Fontes Solar project, for an overall installed capacity of 89.9 MW. The construction of Fontes dos Ventos II will require an investment of around 84 million US dollars.
Several innovative solutions are being implemented on the construction sites of these projects to improve safety, quality and efficiency of works, including active safety devices, automated machines, drones, remote assistance and digital tools to support the sites’ daily activities.
During the construction of the facilities, rigorous safety protocols are being implemented, in light of the ongoing pandemic and in line with the indications provided by health authorities, with the aim to ensure the necessary protection to the workers involved in the construction as well as to the communities where the parks are being installed. The company has established strict guidelines for travel, which include preventive quarantine when workers move to cities outside the construction site region, increased sanitization of facilities, vehicles and environments on construction sites, as well as measures to ensure safe work practices. On the construction sites, the routine of the teams and operations were structured to maintain social distancing. Enel Green Power has also been carrying out massive testing campaigns involving all employees working on the construction sites every two weeks.
In Brazil, the Enel Group, through its subsidiaries EGPB and Enel Brasil, has a total renewable installed capacity of over 3.4 GW, of which 1,210 MW are wind, 979 MW solar and 1,269 MW hydroelectric.
Enel Green Power, within the Enel Group, is dedicated to the development and operation of renewables across the world, with a presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector with an installed capacity of over 47 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable power plants.