Key Brazil grid link set by 1 Nov

Brazil's power regulator Aneel has taken measures to avoid further delays in the connection of 27 wind farms to the national grid through the Joao Camara III substation, due for completion by the end of October.

The wind farms, located in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte, have a combined capacity of about 700MW. The asset owners have been unable to connect the completed projects to the grid. They have been receiving a payment from the government in recognition that the delay is not their fault.

The owners have been in negotiations with Aneel over proposed changes in the connection layout of the 500kV substation that transmission company ETN is building.

Aneel is waiving the need to first change the registration documents for each wind farm. It is automatically accepting the changes as long as the owners file requests to do so by the end of August. Such changes take several months because of a large bureaucratic backlog at Aneel.

“The João Câmara III connection is very important in a region that was forced to expand rapidly”, says Milton Pinto, technical director at renewable energy think tank Cerne in Rio Grande do Norte. “Things are finally being solved as we are learning as we develop”.

Aneel's director Reive dos Santos said that technical difficulties in connecting many wind farms to a single substation had already delayed their start-up more than necessary.

He defended streamlining of the registration process, saying that any further delays would hurt Brazilian consumers even more.