Brazil Plans to Auction 6,900 Megawatts of Wind-Farm Power Lines

Brazil will auction by December contracts to build power lines connecting as much as 6,900 megawatts of planned wind farms in an effort to ensure the turbines will be able to send electricity to the grid once they’re installed.

The transmission lines will link 1,200 megawatts of planned projects in the state of Ceara, 1,500 megawatts in Rio Grande do Norte, 1,800 megawatts in Bahia and 2,400 megawatts in Rio Grande do Sul, Mauricio Tolmasquim, president of the government energy-research agency Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica, said today.

Brazil has about 600 megawatts of wind farms in the northeast that are in operation and aren’t delivering energy to the grid because the accompanying transmission cables have been delayed, according to the country’s wind-energy trade group Associacao Brasileira de Energia Eolica. The cables to be sold this year are expected to be built in 2016, ahead of wind farms that win contracts to sell power in auctions set for this year and next, Tolmasquim said in an interview at a conference in Rio de Janeiro.

“The ideal situation would be to have the auction for power lines and power projects together but then we had these delays,” he said. “This new system of doing things could be the future.”

EPE, as the energy agency is known, will submit a report to Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy this week detailing where the lines should be built, based on a list of 400 proposed projects the ministry received from developers, Tolmasquim said. Under previous rules, power-line auctions were held after power-project auctions were conducted and the government knew which wind farms would be built.

Unlike previous power auctions, developers will be required this year to build power plants near existing substations or install transmission lines that connect their projects to the grid, he said.

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