Impsa supplies wind turbines for Brazil?s largest wind farm By José Santamarta

Impsa Wind increases its wind power capacity and enters into an agreement with Compañía Hidroeléctrica de San Francisco (CHESF). This wind power agreement confirms CHESF entry to the market of wind energy and allows developing the first wind farm owned by the company. The wind farm will be installed at the township of Casanova, in the state of Bahia. According to plans, it will be commissioned during the year 2012. The agreement amounts to USD 360 millions.

It will be installed in Bahia and will be equipped with 120 wind turbines manufactured by IMPSA Wind. The agreement results from the energy bidding conducted in 2010, where CHESF got a positive qualification together with IMPSA, which had been selected as supplier of equipment.

“We analyzed the project and managed to develop solutions aimed at boosting results and reducing costs”, explains Paulo Ferreira, Commercial Director of IMPSA Wind Brazil. Some of the benefits include the erection of concrete towers hiring local labor and using local supplies. “Together with CHESF, we attempt to ensure that people living in the township earn their income and are technically trained”.

After assessing the current scenario and the market of renewable energy, IMPSA Wind bet on the growth of the sector and since last year it’s been investing in the expansion of the factory located in Suape. “We are ready and searching for new demands, mainly when the expansion is complemented, particularly in this first quarter”, states.

With respect to this wind farm, IMPSA will be responsible for supplying 120 wind terbines of 1.5 MW. All of them will be produced at the plant IMPSA Wind owns in Pernambuco. Machines have a rotor with a diameter of 82 meters and each tower measures 100 meters without the rotor. Casa Nova will be Brazil’s largest wind farm. It will have an installed capacity of 180 MW or 510 millions of KW/hour, which is sufficient to supply energy to 320 thousand homes.

“This wind farm is of the utmost importance for CHESF. It not only marks our entry to the sector of wind energy, but also our strength to be the largest wind farm of a country which will be solely owned by CHESF”, emphasizes José Ailton, Director of Engineering of the company. The engineer also states that the partnership with IMPSA began with some hydroelectric projects and that both of them had already been in contact before knowing the final result of the 2010 bidding. “We closed a prior agreement and when the bidding succeeded, we started to proceed with the Casa Nova project”, states Ailton.

Casa Nova will be the first wind energy project carried out by CHESF and it will also be a pioneer with 100% Northeast identity. It is part of a company from the region and equipment will be manufactured at the Northeast, at the factory owned by IMPSA in Suape. “We anticipated to bidding results and improved our plant. Now we are ready to meet the requirements of future bidding processes”, concludes Paulo Ferreira, from IMPSA.

ENERGIMP, IMPSA and FI-FGTS’ subsidiary, consolidates as the largest investor in wind energy from Brazil. It has a total portfolio of 803 MW, of which 100 MW are already under operating conditions, 222 MW are being constructed, and 481 MW are being developed and it is anticipated that they will be commissioned by the end of the year 2012.

Impsa and its subsidiary, Venti Energía, are investors in Argentina with 155 MW. They also have projects in Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Vietnam.

In Uruguay, UTE reports that 15 different companies and consortia presented offers, including Impsa, a renewable energy multinational with over 21,700 MW of generating capacity in its operations in Brazil, Argentina, and the Far East. The company opened a Wind Service Centre in Uruguay in June of last year and aims to incorporate locally manufactured components into its wind turbines.

According to Impsa, wind turbines need to be specially designed to take account of the different characteristics of the prevailing wind, which varies from region to region. The company has introduced 70m rotor diameters for the strong winds of Patagonia, but uses a 100m diameter for the low-turbulence conditions common in parts of Brazil.

UTE’s current call for tenders specified wind farms ranging from 30 to 50 MW of generating capacity. The lowest offer was for a wind farm in Maldonado (US$80/MWh) followed by two others – one in Maldonado, the other in Lavalleja – at US$83/MWh. The 21 projects presented are spread across eight of the country’s departments: Maldonado, Lavalleja, Tacuarembó, Cerro Largo, Flores, Florida, San José and Montevideo.

Besides, Impsa has a portfolio of agreements for the manufacture and selling of wind terbines which nowadays totals 1,800 MW in Latin America and Southeast Asia in projects located in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Malaysia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Impsa is a multinational group established in 1907 in Mendoza, Argentina, which aims at driving the economic development of the region and at supplying the communities where it carries out its activities with opportunities.

The group is Latin America’s leader in terms of renewable energy. It has more than 100-year experience providing integral solutions for the generation of electricity from renewable resources.

By José Santamarta,