Brazilian energy company CEEE has agreed to build an eight kilometre, 230 kV transmission line to link the 150 MW Osório wind farm, under construction in the south of Brazil, with the national grid. Osório, one of the first projects under Brazil's Proinfa program, is being developed by Ventos do Sul, a joint venture of Enerfin, the wind power subsidiary of Spanish engineering firm Elecnor, Brazilian special purpose company CIP Brasil and Wobben Windpower, the Brazilian affiliate of German turbine manufacturer Enercon. At BRL 660-670 million (EUR 234-238 million), the project appears expensive, but Enerfin blames today's currency exchange rate. When the deal was done in 2004 the euro cost was EUR 1.2 million. The company also points out that ground conditions at the site require supporting piles driven to a depth of 30 metres for each turbine, adding to the cost. Wobben is supplying the project's 75 Enercon 2 MW turbines with concrete towers. Online commissioning of the first 12 turbines has began. Meanwhile in the north-east of the country, Spanish utility Iberdrola, through its Brazilian renewables arm, Energías Renovaveis do Brasil (Enerbrasil), has started online testing at its 49.6 MW Río do Fogo project in Río Grande do Norte. It expected the full contingent of 61, Enercon 800 kW wind turbines to be producing commercially before the end of May. Overall investment in the development is expected to reach EUR 66 million, with EUR 52 million covered by a project finance deal with Brazil's National Social and Economic Development Bank (BNDES). Both Osório and Río do Fogo operate under Brazil's renewable energy support program, Programa de Incentivo às Fontes Alternativas de Energia Elétrica (Proinfa), and both will sell the electricity generated to state utility Eletrobrás through power purchase agreements underwritten by Proinfa. In bringing online 200 MW between them, they will double the country's installed wind capacity to date. Proinfa projects must use turbines with a high content of local manufacture. Wobben Windpower is the only company making large scale wind turbines in Brazil.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol