Neoenergia, one of the main private groups in the electricity sector, is analyzing the opportunities of the Brazilian offshore wind potential to take advantage of it with wind turbines of more than 10 MW. According to the president, Mario José Ruiz-Tagle Larrain, the company is developing preliminary studies for offshore wind energy projects in Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro and Ceará. “There are 3,000 MW of development capacity in each of the areas. We have a lot to work on, but clearly there is an opportunity, ”said the executive, who is currently participating in an event on renewable sources.
Citing the experience of Iberdrola’s parent company with projects of this type abroad, the executive stated that Neoenergia’s objective is to be one of the pioneers of this market, which is going through a very similar time to the one it lived at the beginning of the decade of 2000, when Proinfa by the federal government to encourage investments in renewable energy sources. “We are beginning to follow this path. We have high expectations about this in Brazil and we believe that some projects may occur in a horizon of five to ten years ”, projects the executive.
Ruiz-Tagle Larrain commented that the implementation of these projects still depends on overcoming a series of challenges, citing as an example logistics, environmental and maritime issues, as well as progress in measuring winds on the Brazilian coast. In addition, the executive said that he sees opportunities for synergies with offshore projects in the oil and gas industry. “Brazil has an offshore oil and gas industry that brings great synergy to try to obtain much more reasonable prices here than what we see abroad,” he said.
In addition to offshore wind projects, the president of Neoenergia stated that the company is also studying the possibility of investing in hybrid wind-solar plants. The company is evaluating a possible project of this type in Paraíba, where it is building the Chafariz Wind Complex, with 471.2 MW. “The hybrid plant needs regulation, because they act individually and not as hybrids, and that does not make sense,” argued the executive.
Neoenergia’s plans in the generation segment also contemplate new thermal projects with natural gas, given the opportunities that the new gas law, pending in the National Congress, may provide. Ruiz-Tagle Larrain explained that the intention is to bring a better balance to the generation portfolio in view of the greater participation of wind sources, thermals would act as a kind of natural cover in this model. “The price of gas, however, needs a significant reduction (to make new plants viable),” the executive pondered. Today, Neoenergia has a thermal plant, Termopernambuco.