Brazil’s BNDES to Loan $966 Million for Northeast Wind Farms

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social, Brazil’s development bank, will provide 1.8 billion reais ($966 million) to finance wind farms as the renewable energy source dominates government auctions for new power capacity.

ContourGlobal LP, Uniao dos Ventos, DESA Eolicas SA and Grupo Galvao will use the funds to build 26 wind energy projects with a total of 628.8 megawatts of capacity, the Rio de Janeiro-based bank said today in an e-mailed statement.

Wind farms are receiving more contracts to sell power through government-organized auctions in Brazil than small hydroelectric and biomass plants, Eduardo Tabbush, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s London office, said today in a telephone interview.

“More wind farms are signing contracts in auctions because they’re cheaper to build,” he said.

The 26 projects will cost 2.6 billion reais and are planned for the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte.

BNDES approved 3.3 billion reais worth of loans to Brazilian wind farms in 2011, almost quadruple last year’s total, according to the statement.

Brazilian electricity distributors signed contracts to buy electricity from 78 wind farms at an average rate of about 100 reais a megawatt-hour in the nation’s last two power auctions in August, national energy agency Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica said on its website. None went to small hydroelectric plants and 11 went to biomass projects.

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