Last weekend, Brazil brought around 50 MW of installed wind capacity online to give the country a total of more than 20 GW of operational capacity, according to the country’s regulatory arm, the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (Aneel). Wind energy is now the country’s third-largest power source thanks to 750 wind farms and 10,000 active turbines. In 2012, Brazil had just 2 GW of installed capacity. Even after the capacity surge, Aneel expects Brazil will pass the 25 GW threshold in 2025.
Brazil’s wind capacity has accelerated thanks to projects like Campo Largo. In September, Engie Brasil Energia (Engie) received the authorization from Aneel for the commercial operation of the last three wind farms, out of a total of 11, in the Campo Largo 2 Wind Complex, located in the municipalities of Umburanas and Sento Sé, in the State of Bahia. At an investment of US$290 million, the project has been instrumental in increasing the company’s portfolio by 361.2 MW and consequently, the same amount to the national electricity system. With this, Engie can now record a total installed capacity of 1.26 GW of wind energy in Brazil, more than 1 GW of it in Bahia alone when the Campo Largo 2, Campo Largo 1, and Umburanas complexes are included.
“Existing synergies in the region, among them the same substation, transmission line, site infrastructure, and internal accesses, permitted an accelerated delivery of this project,” said Eduardo Sattamini, CEO and CIO of Engie. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, the strong commitment and experience of our field teams were differentials in the management of this project in the midst of so many challenges.”
Work on the Campo Largo 2 Complex began in July 2019 with the assembly of the first wind turbines and expansion of the substation and the installation of the medium voltage networks in July 2020. The entry into commercial operations of the first wind farm took place in February 2021 and in August, the assembly of the 86 wind turbines concluded with the commissioning of all the machines.
The size of the project, logistics for the transportation of heavy-duty equipment, and the COVID-19 pandemic were some of the major challenges the work presented. Overall, the new complex generated approximately 2200 jobs, with the workforce reaching as much of 1500 at the peak of construction. About 4600 tons (4173 tonnes) of steel and 1.66 million scf (47,000 m³) of concrete were used in addition to the implementation of 47 miles (75 km) of internal access roads and 63 miles (101 km) of medium voltage networks with more than a thousand power line posts.