Brazil to include wind energy in A-5 auction

BRAZIL: Brazil's federal government has changed the rules of its 629MW A-5 auction to allow wind projects to be included.

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The A-5 auction, in which commercial operations need to start on 1 January 2017, had previously excluded wind-power projects this year in order to give preference for medium-sized and large hydroelectric projects.

This is because low wind-power prices at the A-5 auction in 2011 had reduced the number of hydroelectric projects commissioned. Wind represented around 80% of projects.

The auction has also been postponed from April 26 to 16 August.

This will be the second auction that wind-power project developers will be able to participate in Brazil. In June, the government will hold an A-3 auction mainly for renewable power in which energy will have to start to be delivered commercially by 1 January 2015.

According to government auction rules for the A-5 auction, all wind turbines will have to be new and need to be made in Brazil if they have up to 1.5MW capacity. Rules stipulate turbines can be imported only if they have 1.5MW capacity or above.

The inclusion of wind power in the A-5 tender followed a plea from the Brazilian Wind Power Association (Abeeolica), which is lobbying for government guarantees to hold yearly auctions for at least 2GW.

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