Brazil state launches clean energy incentives, including hydro

The government of Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul State has launched an incentive program for clean energy development with the signing of financing agreements for two hydroelectric projects.

On April 9, Gov. Yeda Crusius announced Programa RS Energia para Investidores, Rio Grande do Sul Cuidando do Planeta (Energy Investors, Caring for the Planet). The objective is to attract national and international investments to clean energy development in the state.

The state plans to develop a database of supporting information, a portfolio of potential projects for development, a pool of investors, and a series of incentives for developers. It envisions developing wind, solar, biomass, and small hydro projects, as well as biodiesel and ethanol fuels.

The officials said they initiated a 2 billion real (US$983 million) fund to finance renewables projects, coordinated by the state’s finance agency, CaixaRS. They estimated the portfolio of potential projects will require investments of 13.3 billion reais (US$6.5 billion) through 2020.

The state projected it would invest US$5.32 billion in 45 projects totaling 5,340 MW. Of those, three would be hydro projects totaling 2,225 MW and requiring US$2.66 billion and 15 would be small hydro projects totaling 225 MW and requiring US$270 million.

The first financing contract was signed during the program announcement. The Bolognesi Group of Porto Alegre signed the financing agreement with CaixaRS for the Da Ilha and Veneto hydroelectric projects totaling 54 MW. They are being built on the Prata River in northwestern Rio Grande do Sul, to go on line in December.

The total investment for the hydro projects is 226.9 million reais (US$111.5 million) being financed by CaixaRS, Banrisul, BRDE, national development bank BNDES, and Fundo de Investimento InfraBrasil, managed by ABN AMRO.

The Bolognesi Group attends to invest an additional 500 million reais (US$245.8 million) in new plants in the state over five years.

For information on Programa RS Energia para Investidores, contact CaixaRS Agencia de Fomento e Investimento do RS, (55) 51-32845922; E-mail: rsenergyforinvestors@caixars.com.br.

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