With an investment of R $ 12 billion, Asa Branca will have 5 GW of installed capacity and will have three extensions in six years. The project may also have complementary investments in an exclusive dock in Porto do Pecém.
A pioneer in renewable energy, Ceará also occupies a central place among offshore wind energy projects, that is, with wind turbines at sea. The first project of this type in the state, called Asa Branca, by Eólica Brasil, will receive an investment of R $ 12 billion in the first phase and should start operating in January 2025, according to the company’s CEO, Marcello Storrer.
Asa Branca is the only offshore wind farm project in Ceará that already has a Subsidy Registration Order (DRO) issued by the National Electric Power Agency (Aneel), a document that authorizes the production of electricity.
The plant will be installed on the coast of Pecém and will have an installed capacity of 5 gigawatts (GW) in the first phase, distributed in 60 wind turbines. After the delivery of the first block, the plant will be expanded three times, once every two years, totaling four blocks and 10 GW of capacity in an area of ??360 thousand hectares. The value of the investment is repeated with each expansion.
As they are projects built in the sea, so that they can cause environmental impacts, offshore wind farms are subjected to a long evaluation process both by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), and by the Secretariat of Aquaculture. and Fisheries, National Secretariat of Ports and Aquatic Transportation (SNPTA), Navy and Aeronautics, in addition to Aneel itself.
Storrer details that, with the exception of environmental licenses, all other authorizations have already been granted to the Asa Branca project. The protocol with Ibama, led by Ramboll Brasil, an environmental consultancy, is in preparation for the environmental impact study, which should be ready in a year.
We are investing a lot to have the perfect study and obtain approval as soon as possible ”, explains the executive. After the granting of the prior license by Ibama, the plant installation study project will be carried out, which will also be analyzed, only then will the construction of the park begin.
The general manager of Eólica Brasil also reveals that the resources for the construction and installation of the Asa Branca plant will also come from the group’s own income, but mainly from the resources of the energy purchase and sale contracts.
Taking into account that it is a new renewable energy matrix in the country, it also defends an incentive program by the Federal Government, as happened with onshore wind, solar and biomass energy through the Source Incentives Program. Alternativas de Electricidad (Proinfa), which benefits entrepreneurs without corporate ties with generation, transmission or distribution concessionaires for contracting energy.
“This contracting model can occur with the distributors themselves as buyers. Then, the difference between the Settlement Price for Difference (PLD), which is the average amount disbursed by distributors to pay generators, and the incentive price will come from of the Energy Development Account (CDE) ”, explains Storrer about how cheap offshore wind energy should be.
However, he points out that the government’s positive signal for this will only come with the presentation of the program by the private sector itself.
In addition to the plant, Eólica Brasil also negotiates with Porto do Pecém and the State Government the construction of an exclusive terminal for offshore projects. This is because the towers must be pre-assembled on land and then taken to the sea. According to the company’s general manager, the area would have at least 50 hectares and should be built with its own resources, an investment of US $ 200 million. “Despite being our initiative, the pier would be open to other marine plants that need it,” he points out.
The agreement was confirmed by the State Secretary for Economic Development and Labor, Maia Júnior. “We are analyzing the necessary elements. The memorandum is being executed through legal advisors so that the prosecutors can authorize the celebration. We are interested in creating favorable conditions,” she says. She also reveals that the administration of the dock would be on behalf of the Port of Pecém itself in partnership with a private entity that has an interest in the operation.