BNDES Approves R$ 358 Million for Wind Farms in Ceara / by Mark Langevin

energia+e%C3%B3lica.gif The board of directors of the BNDES approved R$ 358 million in financing for the construction of four wind farms in the state of Ceará. The projects comprise the Trairi Project, which will have a total installed capacity of 115.4 MW and will begin operations in January 2013. The wind farms, consisting of Special Purpose Companies, are controlled indirectly by Tractebel Energia S.A. and directly by Energias Eólicas do Nordeste S.A.

The BNDES funds represent 68.4% of the total project investment. From the funding, some R$1.8 million will be earmarked for social programs for sustainable development of the area surrounding the farms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per MWh generated in the interconnected system. The four farms will have 50 wind turbines manufactured in Brazil by Siemens Ltda.

The wind farms that are part of the Trairi Project are: Fleixeiras, with financing of R$ 97 million; Guajiru, R$ 93.6 million; Mundaú, R$ 87.4 million; and Trairi, R$ 79.9 million. The first three will have an installed capacity of 30MW and the fourth, 25.4 MW.

The BNDES’ funding for investments in wind energy has grown in recent years, which reflects the Bank’s priority in supporting renewable energy projects. In 2008, approvals for projects in the sector amounted to R$ 257 million; in 2009, they increased to R$ 1.2 billion, maintaining the same level in 2010. Last year, wind power generation projects approved by the BNDES totaled R$ 3.4 billion.

Overall, BNDES investments in power GTD sector have grown substantially in recent years, from $R 3 billion reais in 2006 to 17 billion by 2011.  This represents the bank’s investments in meeting the mounting power demand driven by industrial activity, and commercial and residential consumption.  Moreover, such a large increase in investment allows for more speculative financing for alternatives such as wind and solar; so this latest project is represented of a broader pattern of diversifying the bank’s power generation portfolio.