Brazil's new 400MW of stranded wind

Brazil's wind power sector has kicked off 2014 facing the familiar issue of grid connection problems, with almost 400MW of new capacity stranded in the state of Bahia.

The wind farms are waiting for a transmission line and substations to be built by state-controlled power company Chesf – which has struggled to keep pace with the rapid growth of wind generation in the country.

Italy’s Enel Green Power announced this week that construction of its 30MW Primavera wind farm was concluded in the Morro do Chapéu, in the central region of Bahia – its first wind project in Brazil.

But the company confirmed that no grid link is in place for Primavera, the first stage of the three-phase, 90MW Cristal wind complex.

Renova said the same day that about 400km away from Enel's complex, in the town of Caetité, the expected early-March completion of construction of the 368MW Alto Sertão II does not mean that it can start selling power.

Investor relations manager Flávia Carvalho confirmed that there is no grid connection available.

“We will be filing a request for conciliation at power regulator Aneel so that we are not charged with breach of contract,” she said during a conference call discussing the company's 2013 results.

Under Brazilian regulations the government pays compensation to generation companies that are ready but not connected to the grid.

Chesf is responsible for both connections, which are being delayed due to environmental licensing problems.

Renova's Carvalho said that the new official deadline for the connection of its wind farms is January 2015.

Enel's spokespeople in Brazil did not comment further on the issue.