Copel lists 129MW for A-3 auction

Copel Renováveis, renewable energy subsidiary of Brazilian state power company Copel, listed five wind power projects with total installed capacity of 129MW for the A-3 auction scheduled for 6 June 6, chief executive Luiz Antônio Leprevost tells Recharge.

This will be the company's second attempt to sell power in auctions after failing to win contracts at the A-5 auction in 2013. The five wind farms comprise the Cutia Complex.

Selling power at auctions is part of Copel's strategy to grow in the renewable energy market after it was spun off in October 2013. It plans to continue acquiring wind assets and is now appraising some in Bahia and Rio Grande do Norte, he says.

Copel will invest mainly in wind power and biomass projects. According to Leprevost, the company has set a target to have 847.6MW of wind power farms and projects in its portfolio by 2017.

“We want Copel Renováveis to be strong in Brazil's market which is itself turning more and more to renewable energy,” he says in a telephone interview from its headquarters in Curitiba, capital of the southern Paraná state.

He adds that Copel chose wind because of its profitability and expects just over a 10% return from those investments.

The five projects that are located in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte are part of a 533MW portfolio that Copel acquired last year from Galvao Energia for R$160m ($71m). According to Leprevost, the projects are licensed and listed among 12GW of wind proposals for the auction announced in March.

So far, Copel has the 2.5MW Palmas wind farm in Paraná, and 94MW São Bento complex in Rio Grande do Norte, in operation. Sao Bento was completed last year but is idle as it lacks a transmission grid connection.

It depends on the Joao Camara III substation in Rio Grande do Norte as do the Asa Branca I and II – both 27MW - wind farms that Copel will complete in July, says Leprevost.

“This gives the company R$5m monthly revenue without generating power,” he adds.

The Asa Branca units were also acquired from Galvão as part of the Brisas Potiguar complex which includes another five wind farms and total capacity of 183MW. Those should be completed in 2015.

From the same portfolio, Copel the company is concluding studies for another eight wind farms, but Leprevost declined to discuss details.