Brazil’s 4.2-MW Aquarius wins CDM approval

The United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) program certified Brazil’s 4.2-MW Aquarius hydroelectric project December 15, enabling it to sell carbon emission credits under the international program to help reduce greenhouse gases.

The project is being developed by Aquarius Energetica S.A., a subsidiary of sugar and alcohol producer Companhia Agricola Sonora Estancia, on the Corriente River in Mato Grosso do Sul State. Japan’s Electric Power Development Co. Ltd. (J-Power) has been working with the project as a consultant and is to buy the carbon credits.

J-Power said the project will cut fossil fuel use at local thermal power plants and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 284,000 tons during the 21 years to 2026. The firm’s spokesman declined to disclose how much it would spend to buy the carbon credits.

Aquarius is J-Power’s third project to receive CDM registration.

Work on the run-of-river project began in the 1980s, but was halted due to uncertainty in the electric power sector. It was reactivated in the 1990s about 10 kilometers downstream from the 180-MW Ponte de Pedra project, which has been operating since 2005.

Aquarius has a head of 60 meters and requires a 350-meter diversion channel, 160-meter penstock, and two 2.1-MW turbine-generators. It is to deliver 25,754 MWh per year to the grid of the local utility, Empresa Energetica do Mato Grosso do Sul (Enersul).

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