The federal government of Brazil has approved a loan of up to $100 million for two 30 MW wind farms in the northeast state of Ceara. The decision, made in early May, means the government will guarantee international bids for the wind farms.
News of the Brazil initiative emerged at the American Wind Energy Association's Windpower '94 conference last month. According to Sergio Cardoso Maia, president of the Coelce state utility, an invitation for international bids will go out in some five to six months and the turbines should be in the ground about one year after that. Wind speeds in the area are about 10 m/s at a height of ten metres. The region is arid and must import most of its energy from areas with hydro-power. This is the second phase of the region's wind programme. Under the first phase, resources were logged by American company NRG Systems of Vermont and an agreement was forged between the Japanese government and the state of Ceara. Previously in Brazil, a wind-diesel project has been installed on an offshore island with the help of the Folk Centre of Denmark. A 1 MW wind farm of four 250 kW Tacke machines from Germany has also been installed in the state of Minas Gerais under the German El Dorado programme (Windpower Monthly, April 1994).
Everaldo Feitosa of the Federal University of Pernambuco predicted at Windpower '94 that the whole of Brazil could have as much as 1000 MW of wind power in the ground by 2005.