Components and content

Since January 2013, turbine makers have needed to comply with three of the following four criteria to receive Finame accreditation, which enables their customers to receive loan rates of 6-8% from the BNDES national development bank (far below the 11% base rate). All four will have to be met by January 2016.

1 Towers (steel or concrete) need to have at least 70% of their weight produced in Brazil. All welding must be carried out in the country, while flange screws, forgings, internal platforms, stairs, cable conduits and supports must all be sourced from Brazilian companies.

2 Blades must be manufactured by the company itself or third parties in Brazil. Starting at zero national content in January 2013, they needed to have 50% national content in July 2014, reaching the maximum of 60% by January 2015. Resin blending must be carried out in Brazil, while the fibreglass component of the blade needs to use Brazilian-made textile mats. If the blending or mat are not totally local, then companies have to prove local content in one or two more components of the nacelle or hub.

3 Hubs must be assembled in the company’s own factory and include forged and moulded using parts made (and painted) locally. In stepped increases at six-monthly intervals leading up to January 2016, they must include locally made shift bearings, nose cones, pitch-control systems and pitch-control panels.

4 Nacelles need to be assembled in a company’s own plant in Brazil, with the structural elements produced locally, including castings. Also, at least 12 of the internal components must be produced in Brazil, of which the turbine maker has to chose at least one from a list that includes inverters, generators or gearboxes, and five from a second list that includes brakes, stoppage or coupling systems, cables, hydraulic units, slip rings, structural screws, anemometers and wind-direction sensors. Direct-drive turbine makers have to choose one additional item from the following list that must be made in Brazil: all castings, the nacelle structures, inverters or rotor structures and stators. Additionally for the direct-drive technology, five items from the following list of ten components must be made in Brazil: nacelle cooling system, elevator, main shaft, electric protection panel, nacelle body, yaw bearings, main shaft bearing, transformers, yaw starting systems and yaw control panels.

Manufacturers must meet interim targets every six months between January 2013 and January 2016 as they increase their local content. BNDES technicians will make periodic visits to the companies’ factories (and their suppliers) to verify the manufacturers’ progress. At the July 1 2014 inspection, all manufacturers had to complete criteria 1 and 2 (up to 50% national content for blades), while having made advances in the third and fourth criteria. If the nacelle assembly plant hasn’t yet been completed, the manufacturer had to show BNDES that it has hired personnel and already planned training and its supply chain.