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Biggest wind farm project in RS, worth R$3.3 billion, seeks investors

The company has a 12-year measurement that predicts use in Rio Grande that is closer to that obtained in the Northeast

Gradually, the wind is blowing again in favor of wind farms in the State, after a forced calm that lasted for years, due to the delay in the works that allow the connection to the national energy transmission system.

Now, one of the projects seeking investors is a candidate to become the largest in Rio Grande do Sul and one of the five most powerful in Brazil. The Wind Park Wind Complex plans to install itself in Rio Grande, on the banks of the BR-471. It foresees an investment of R$ 3.3 billion in 150 wind turbines with a capacity of 4.5 megawatts (MW) each, reaching a total of 675 MW. Today, the largest in the state, Campos Neutrais, in Chuí, has 582.8 MW.

In the environmental licensing phase, it obtained the terms of reference from the State Foundation for Environmental Protection (Fepam). The company expects to receive a preliminary license (LP) in early 2023. As a result, it is already waiting for Aneel's grant registration order, which allows the request for access to the electrical system to drain produced energy. From that moment on, it will be able to receive investors.

According to Pablo Castellarin, managing partner of Wind Park, the project combines logistics, proximity to the electrical system and the quality of the wind resource. As many wind turbines and equipment are imported or come from other regions of Brazil, the proximity to the port of Rio Grande is strategic.

In the executive's assessment, Rio Grande do Sul has "enormous potential" for expansion. Wind Park provides wind turbines with more advanced technology and greater height, which allow for higher capacity factors. This indicator reflects how much of the installed power is effectively transformed into energy generation.

The project has wind measurement towers in place since 2010. The 12-year historical series, monitored by certifiers, identified a capacity factor of 50.2%, considered high for wind energy. To compare, the average of parks in Rio Grande do Sul is 34.5%, while in the Northeast it reaches 60%.

Castellarin says he sees a "window of opportunity" for this type of project, because demand for electricity tends to increase, and renewable sources will be essential for this growth. For the managing partner of Wind Park, there is a depletion of connection capacity in the Northeast, which makes more companies turn to alternatives in the State.

The project was developed with a focus on areas with consolidated agricultural activity for over 50 years. In order to preserve as much as possible the existing production at the site, the best possible position for the wind turbines was studied. Among the partners in the initiative are Banco Alfa, which has the mandate to sell the project, and Biolaw, which followed the entire environmental licensing process.


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