RDS Energias Gets Permit for 568-Megawatt Wind Project in Brazil

  • Company in talks to sell stake in wind farm in Santa Catarina
  • Wind farm expected to require $744 million in investment

RDS Energias Renovaveis Ltda., a Brazilian energy company, received environmental approval for a 568-megawatt wind project in the country’s southern state of Santa Catarina.

The company is in talks to sell an equity stake in the project, according to Rodrigo Nereu dos Santos, executive director of Florianopolis, Santa Catarina-based RDS. It’s expected to cost 2.4 billion reais ($744 million). He declined to identify any potential investors.

"We are ready to go to auctions," Santos said in a phone interview. "The project is attractive because it is big, offering gains of scale."

Wind developers in Brazil are preparing for an energy auction planned for Dec. 16, after a steep recession crimped demand for electricity. Power consumption in Brazil declined 1.7 percent in the first half from a year earlier, with industrial use slumping 5.3 percent, according to Brazil’s Energy Research Agency, known as EPE.

Applications for that event have closed, and RDS will probably participate in the next one, in 2017, Santos said. Developers applied to sell power from 1,260 projects with a total of 35.147 gigawatts of capacity in the December auction, with wind farms accounting for two thirds of the proposed projects.

Brazil installed 2.75 gigawatts of turbines in 2015, making it the world’s fourth-biggest wind market. About $5 billion was invested in Brazil’s wind industry last year, according to Abeeolica.