Brazil basin surveys find 37 potential projects totaling 4,637 MW

Brazil’s energy research agency has completed inventories of the Uruguai and Paranaiba river basins finding 37 potential hydroelectric projects totaling 4,637.6 MW could be developed by 2016.

Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica (EPE) said September 12 it completed the basin studies, the first such integrated environmental evaluations in the scope of socio-environmental planning for the Brazil electric sector. The studies constitute a subsidy to eventual developers by providing direction and recommendations for analyses and associated procedures necessary for hydro project environmental licensing.

The Uruguai Basin study listed five existing hydro projects totaling 3,043 MW, with a sixth, of 880 MW, under construction. It said another five proposed projects totaling 1,342 MW have approved feasibility studies, three more of 1,088.6 MW have feasibility studies in development, and another of 47 MW has an approved inventory study. The report said the nine proposed projects, totaling 2,477.6 MW, could be in operation by 2015. It said a tenth project of 104 MW could be added by 2025.

The Paranaiba Basin study listed eight existing hydro projects totaling 7,165 MW, with three more totaling 577 MW under construction. It said another ten proposed projects totaling 1,000 MW have approved feasibility studies and 18 more of 1,160 MW have inventory studies in development or approved. The report said the 28 proposed projects, totaling 2,160 MW, could be in operation by 2016. It said another 52 small hydro projects totaling 600 MW could be added by 2026.

EPE said the technical content generated by the integrated environmental evaluations will facilitate drafting of terms of reference for project environmental studies, will offer parameters for analyzing those studies, and will help determine what mitigation conditions will be required for issuance of environmental licenses.

EPE said it is in the final phases of developing integrated environmental evaluations of four more basins, the Parnaiba, Tocantins, Doce, and Paraiba do Sul. The six total basins were chosen by Brazilian energy officials because they have the largest concentration of hydropower sites either in operation or in potential, EPE said.

For information, contact Oldon Machado, Assessor de Comunicacao, Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica, (55) 21-35123157; E-mail: oldon.machado@epe.gov.br; Internet: www.epe.gov.br.

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