Brazil bank funds ten hydro projects totaling 137 MW

Brazil’s national development bank has approved financing for Empresa de Investimentos em Energias Renovais S.A. (Ersa) to construct ten small hydroelectric projects totaling 137 MW.

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES) approved an investment of 471.5 million reais (US$212.4 million), representing 60.9 percent of the total cost of 774.2 million reais (US$348.8 million). The cost includes transmission facilities required to connect the projects to Brazil’s grid.

The ten small hydro projects have individual installed capacities of less than 30 MW and reservoir areas smaller than 3 square kilometers. Their electricity should supply about 1.4 million people.

The plants are to be built in the Rio Grande, Uruguai, and Rio Doce river basins in Minas Gerais and Santa Catarina states. They are identified as Aiuruoca, Arvoredo, Barra de Paciencia, Cocais Grande, Corrente Grande, Ninho da Aguia, Paiol, Sao Goncalo, Varginha, and Varzea Alegre.

In January, electricity regulator Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL) approved transfer of authorizations for 16-MW Aiuruoca, 22-MW Barra da Paciencia, and 14-MW Corrente Grande to Ersa and GM Energy from Eletroriver S/A. (HNN 1/28/08)

The 10-MW Cocais Grande is to be the first plant to begin operation, in December in Minas Gerais.

The ten plants, all established as special purpose companies, have signed long-term power sales contracts.

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