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Safira Expects $30 Million From European Backer for Brazil Wind

Safira Energia, the Brazilian energy trader, is negotiating a $30 million investment from a European backer to build a wind farm as waning government incentives in developed nations make renewable-power projects less profitable.

The company is talking to two funds and expects one of them to provide the backing by early next year, Mikio Kawai Jr., director of the Barueri, Brazil-based company, said today in a telephone interview. He didn’t name the funds.

European investors and utilities are seeking renewable-energy projects to support in other regions after governments including Germany and the U.K. trim subsidies, cutting into profits, Kawai said.

“Projects here offer double-digit internal rates of returns, which is far higher than what’s achievable in Europe,” he said.

Safira Energia trades power and is starting to develop its own generating assets. The company has plans to build as much as 500 megawatts of wind farms and 150 megawatts of solar projects through 2020.

Power from its first planned wind farm in northeast Brazil will be sold through government-organized auctions and to large energy consumers on the free electricity market, he said.

Electricity from renewable energy plants sells for about 150 reais ($72.72) a megawatt-hour on the free market, about 30 percent higher than through the auctions where more than two thirds of the country’s power is contracted, he said.

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