Shell announced this Friday that it has requested the environmental license from the Brazilian authorities to set up six offshore wind farms in Brazil with an installed capacity to generate up to 17 gigawatts (GW), higher than that of the Itaipú hydroelectric plant (14 GW).
The intention is for the projects to be built in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the states of Piauí, Ceará, Río Grande do Norte, Espírito Santo, Río de Janeiro and Río Grande do Sul, the company said in a statement.
According to the company, the six parks together “will have an installed capacity of 17 GW”, which would be higher than that of the Itaipu hydroelectric plant, the second largest dam in the world, after “The Three Gorges Dam” (Las three gorges) in China, which has an installed capacity of 22.5 GW.
The request for the environmental license is the first step to guarantee the studies of the areas and a sustainable and responsible development of the investments.
However, the construction process may take a few years and is not fully guaranteed since the areas where Shell wants to build the parks are public and the rights to exploit them will have to be auctioned among various companies.
“With more than 20 years of experience in wind energy in the world and more than 50 years of tradition in offshore projects, Shell intends to combine its experience on these two fronts with the aim of providing more energy and clean energy to the country,” said Gabriela Oliveira, Renewable Generation manager of the company in Brazil, quoted in the statement.
Despite Brazil’s enormous potential in this area, as studies indicate that the country can generate up to 700 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, the Government has not yet regulated this sector and the rules to allow production in offshore towers have yet to be established. they are being discussed by the Executive and the Legislative.
Experts predict that the process to search for new renewable energy sources may be accelerated by the current situation in Eastern Europe after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Pending the regulation, the environmental authorities have already received for analysis about twenty offshore wind farm projects in the country, with the capacity to generate about 40 gigawatts of energy, by other large companies in the sector, such as Iberdrola, Engie and Equinor.
Data from the Brazilian Wind Energy Association (Abeeólica) indicate that onshore wind power generation reached 21 GW of installed capacity in Brazil last year, compared to 17.7 GW in 2020, thanks to the operation of 777 parks wind farms distributed in 12 of the 27 states of the country.