Hydropower dominates in Brazil, at 62.17% of total installed capacity at end of 2020

Itaipu agreement suspended

Hydropower dominates the energy mix in Brazil, contributing more than 62% of its total installed electric generating capacity at the end of 2020. Brazil ended 2020 with total installed electric generating capacity of 174,413 MW, of which 58.6% was hydropower, 25.2% thermal, 9.64% wind, 3.1% small hydro, 1.87% PV, 1.13% nuclear and 0.47% mini hydro.

Below is information on the main hydropower plants and players in the country, according to data from local watchdog Aneel and compiled by BNamericas.

The 10 largest plants in Brazil are all hydroelectric:

  • Belo Monte 11,233.1 MW
  • Tucuruí 8,535 MW
  • Itaipu 7,000 MW (Brazil’s 50% share)
  • Jirau 3,750 MW
  • Santo Antônio 3,568 MW
  • Ilha Solteira 3,444 MW
  • Xingó 3,162 MW
  • Paulo Afonso IV 2,462.4 MW
  • Itumbiara 2,082 MW
  • Teles Pires 1,819.8 MW

The 10 companies with the largest installed capacity are:

  • Norte Energia (operator of Belo Monte, with 11,233.1 MW)
  • Companhia Hidrelétrica do São Francisco of Chesf (10,347.428 MW)
  • Furnas Centrais Elétricas (9,380.23 MW)
  • Centrais Elétricas do Norte do Brasil (Eletronorte, with 8,973.15 MW)
  • Itaipu Binacional (operator of Itaipu, with 7,000 MW)
  • Petrobras (6,426.728 MW)
  • Rio Paraná Energia (4,995.2 MW)
  • Engie Brasil Energia (4,392.438 MW)
  • Energia Sustentável do Brasil (operator of Jirau, with 3,750 MW)
  • Santo Antônio Energia (operator of Santo Antônio, with 3,568 MW)

The above ranking is practically the same as the ranking of hydroelectric power generators, which also takes into account small and mini hydro plants. The only difference is the exclusion of Petrobras and the inclusion of Copel Geração e Transmissão in 10th place, with 3,452.915 MW.

About 40 GW of new power generation projects authorized by Aneel are under construction or scheduled to be built.

In 2021, the Brazilian government plans to hold four new energy power generation tenders, where only greenfield projects can participate: the A-3 and A-4 to be held in June and the A-5 and A-6 in September.

In 2020, only one power generation tender was held, an A-1 in December. The auction contracted supply of 87,600 MWh for 12.4 million reais (US$2.43 million) from existing undertakings.

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