Latin America Focus: Brazil's support programme pushes on

Although Brazil's forthcoming wind auction has grabbed everyone's attention (see main story), the Programa de Incentivo a Fontes Alternativas de Energia Eletrica (Proinfa) support programme has continued to notch up new projects.

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The latest was Argentinian turbine manufacturer Impsa's BRL 550 million ($298 million) 28.8 MW Parque Eolico de Praias de Parajuru, completed on August 20 in the north-eastern state of Ceara. Run in partnership with Minas Gerais state-based electricity utility Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais, the project is based in the municipality Beberibe and uses 19 Impsa 1.5 MW turbines.

Luis Pescarmona, Impsa's CEO in Brazil, says the country is a key market. The fact that Impsa entered manufacturing turbines at all is seen as another sign of Brazil cementing itself as a long-term promising market for wind. The firm's factory in Suape port in Recife has the capacity to produce 300 MW of turbines annually.

Praias de Parajuru is the first of three power projects involving Impsa in the Ceara state. The other two, Praia do Morgado (28.8 MW) and Volta do Rio (42.3 MW), are in the final stage of construction. All are using Impsa's 1.5 MW Vensys machines - the Vensys-licensed machines gave Impsa a chance to jump quickly into the market, notes Emilio Javier Guinazu, general manager at subsidiary Impsa Wind. The company also intends to pump BRL 1.3 billion ($703 million) into ten other wind projects, totalling 217 MW, in the southern state of Santa Catarina, with turbines starting to go up for these this autumn.

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