Bioenergy awaits wind move OK

Brazilian independent renewables developer Bioenergy is waiting for the OK from the mines and energy ministry to move three wind power projects from the grid-less Rio Grande do Norte state to neighbouring Maranhão, where it is building its own transmission line.

The wind plants have a combined capacity of 86.4MW, but haven't yet been built because the company is seeking the change. Sergio Marques, the company's CEO, had already told the local press that he planned to make the change for one of the projects.

The three projects are Caiçara do Norte 1 and 2, and Aratuá 3, of 28.8MW each.

The first two had sold power in the 2011 reserve auction and the third in the 2010 renewables tender.

As the developer awaits permission, power regulator Aneel yesterday allowed Bioenergy to postpone the start of wind and climatic measurements to three months after the ministry approves the move.

That decision comes as the federal government announced that it would auction transmission lines ahead of the tender for wind power projects to avoid such delays.

Brazil loses twice through unconnected wind. Not only does it not gain the much-needed power (about 1GW of wind projects are standing idle) but it also has to pay the idle farms for the electricity not fed into the lines, since the law allows payments if delays are not the developers' responsibility.