Contour ups stake in Brazil wind

US generation company Contour Global has increased its presence in the Brazilian wind power sector by agreeing to buy stakes in three wind complexes from local developer Casa dos Ventos for R$180m ($78.5m).

The company also said that Brazil's National Development Bank (BNDES) approved R$320m in financing for one of the projects.

Contour Global now has 633MW of wind power assets in Brazil.

The agreement with Casa dos Ventos includes buying 100% control of the Chapada do Paiuí III complex; additional 15% stakes in the Chapada do Paiuí I and 160MW Asa Branca complexes; and an extra 5% stake in the Chapada do Piauí II wind farm. The Chapada do Paiuí complex has an installed capacity of 205MW.

Contour Global said that after the stake-raising it will own 100% of Asa Branca (in the state of Rio Grande do Norte) and Chapada III. It will also control 51% of Chapada I and II (in the state of Piauí), in partnership with state power company Chesf, which owns the other 49% in the latter projects.

Investment in the projects is estimated at R$1.9bn and the 1.7MW and 1.85MW turbines used at the wind farms will be supplied by the US's GE.

Chapada do Piauí I and II are under construction and Chapada do Piauí III sold power in last year's auction.

Asa Branca started operations in September 2013.

BNDES has to approve the transaction, since it financed both Chapada do Piauí I and Asa Branca.

"Brazil's well-structured commercial and legal framework for wind projects and the exceptional quality of its wind resources continue to present attractive development opportunities for us," said Joseph Brandt, Contour Global's CEO.