Turning Brazil into a Wind Powerhouse

GE 1.5 megawatt wind turbin in a corn field
GE’s 1.5MW turbines are helping to turn Brazil in a wind powerhouse.

Brazil, the wind energy leader in Latin America, continues to offer major opportunities for wind energy development. As part of the country’s 2010 Alternative Energy Auctions, GE has announced commitments from four developers to supply more than 400 megawatts of clean, wind-generated electricity to Brazil’s renewable energy capacity. These commitments include 258 of GE’s advanced 1.5 and 1.6-megawatt wind turbines. GE’s 1.5-megawatt series wind turbines are the most widely deployed wind turbines in the world.

Customers making commitments to GE from Brazil’s 2010 Alternative Energy Auction are Renova Energia S.A, Dobreve Energia S.A. (DESA), Contour Global, and Bioenergy. Projects from the four customers are located in the states of Bahia and Rio Grande do Norte.

“Being able to supply the best technology fit for Brazil’s wind conditions is at the center of our continued success in the country’s wind auctions,” said Victor Abate, vice president–renewable energy for GE Power & Water. “We are focused on making our customers the most competitive in Brazil as they concentrate on helping the country reach its renewable energy goals.”

The 2010 auction commitments build upon GE’s success in winning more than 400 megawatts of wind turbine commitments in Brazil’s first technology-specific energy auction, held in 2009.

“We have had success in winning a quarter of the megawatts awarded in the past 12 months in Brazil. These relationships support our positioning as one of Brazil’s wind energy leaders and, most importantly, represent an important step towards our long term vision as key players in this country,” said Jean Claude Robert, GE’s wind director for Latin America.

Details on GE’s commitments resulting from Brazil’s 2010 Alternative Energy Auctions include:

  • Renova – 163 megawatts with 102 units
  • DESA – 60 megawatts with 38 units
  • Contour Global – 150 megawatts with 100 units
  • Bioenergy – 28.8 megawatts with 18 units

Renova and DESA previously selected GE technology in the 2009 Brazil wind auctions, while Contour Global and Bioenergy are first-time GE customers. GE’s scope with each of the developers will include the supply, erection and commissioning of the wind turbines, along with service agreements of at least two years. GE’s wind turbine technology is part of ecomagination, the company’s commitment to imagine and build innovative solutions to environmental challenges.

Traditionally, Brazil has relied heavily on hydropower for its electricity supply. The recent wind auctions reinforce the country’s commitment to make wind power a mainstream source of energy as it continues to expand its renewable energy portfolio.

Brazil is Latin America’s leading wind market with 31.6 gigawatts of capacity expected to be installed by 2025, according to a recent study from IHS Emerging Energy Research. The study also highlights Brazil’s market scale and proactive renewable energy policies as key elements in creating a steady growth in wind power development for the country.

GE has had a presence in Brazil since 1919 and today employs more than 6,000 people in the country. GE recently announced plans to invest $500 million to expand its operations in Brazil, including $200 million for new wind turbine and aeroderivative product developments and increased capacity for GE’s Oil & Gas business. As part of the expansion, GE is establishing its newest multi-disciplinary research and development center in Rio de Janeiro. Work at the center will focus on advanced technologies for the renewable energy, oil and gas, mining, rail, and aviation industries.

GE is a diversified infrastructure, finance, and media company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, health care solutions and television programming. GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide.

GE serves the energy sector by developing and deploying technology that helps make efficient use of natural resources. With nearly 85,000 global employees and 2009 revenues of $40 billion, GE Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies. The businesses that comprise GE Energy — GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services, and GE Oil & Gas — work together to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar, and biogas; and other alternative fuels.

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