Iberdrola: understand wind risks

Companies operating in Brazil's wind sector need to have a better understanding of the risks involved, says Iberdrola’s Brazil director, Laura Porto.

These range from accurately predicting actual power production, to regulatory, tax and financing issues.

Porto manages a portfolio of 307MW of wind farms in different stages of development in Brazil’s Northeast. She says one of the principal risks that developers and investors should understand is long-term wind assessments.

“If you invest in wind resource measurement, you can be confident that, throughout the 20-year contract period, you will have the energy that you predicted and therefore achieve the capacity factor that you declared,” she says.

In relation to the possibility that the electricity regulator, Aneel, could re-open the question of generation guarantees for wind farms, Porto says she is worried.

“It wouldn’t be a good idea to penalise wind power if, in two or three years, generation didn’t match up to predicted levels."

She says analysis of wind farm performance should be done on a comprehensive basis, rather than looking at a single facility.

“There is an important variety in terms of individual plants, but the the variability is low when you take into consideration all the projcts together,” she says, showing data generation based on 30 Iberdrola wind farms, totalling 3.5GW.