Seizing free-market opportunities

Major players such as CPFL Renováveis and Renova Energia believe that wind’s presence will continue to grow on the free market, which has 1GW of projects selling power already.

Renova Energy is top of the rankings of vendors in the unregulated market.

With contracts equivalent to 545MW, it is selling 40% of its total portfolio outside the government tender framework.

“The power sector is going through a turbulent time and that favours our business in the free market,” says Esoani Portes Junior, Renova’s new-business and commercial superintendent. “Prices are high and consumers are wary.”

He expects his company to keep growing in the segment.

“Given the scale we have, we can construct wind farms with 5MW or 50MW with the same costs. There is going to be space for growth at competitive prices,” he adds.

Marcio Severi, director of regulation and sales of CPFL Renováveis, says his company already has 260MW set up for the unregulated market. The strategy of the company, which also has small-hydro plants and biomass, is to manage its portfolio to mitigate the risk of wind-energy production. “In this market you need a big portfolio,” he says.

“Wind power has no guarantee of being despatched, unlike other energy sources.”

For the executive president of ABEEólica, Elbia Melo, the biggest challenge in expanding the free market continues to be finding a way to match the curve of energy production with the demand curve of consumers.