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Brazil's WEG enters storage market with NPS acquisition

Brazil's only domestic wind turbine maker buys US storage business, adding to its existing renewables interests

WEG, a Brazilian electrical equipment maker and the country’s only domestic wind turbine OEM, has acquired the storage business of US renewables firm Northern Power Systems (NPS).

The transaction involved a full takeover of Energy Storage System (ESS), an NPS-owned developer and manufacturer of storage systems based in Vermont.

“This is a market with many growth opportunities for WEG, and will bring even greater synergy with the renewables solutions that we already offer such as wind and solar and electric traction,” says Manfred Peter Johann, head of automation for WEG.

WEG said that it maintain all current facilities and workers in the US.

In 2016, WEG acquired the utility-scale turbine business of NPS after licensing the technology to produce locally in Brazil a 2MW machine, which is currently on sale in the country's 2GW-a-year wind power market. WEG is currently upgrading the model to 4MW.

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The company already offers turnkey services for solar PV projects, and is one of largest and oldest local supplier of large-scale electric equipment, infrastructure and services for Brazil’s power industry. It is also a large international player with factories and offices in North America, Europe and, in 2017, announced plans to assemble wind turbines in India.

Brazil’s renewable energy market has been consolidating in recent years led by wind, which now accounts for 9% of the country’s total installed capacity of 170GW, and solar PV which should reach around 8GW in 2026 from 1GW today.

Wind-solar hybrids are already being tested on a commercial scale in Brazil, while power regulator Aneel launched in 2018 an experimental programme to promote storage projects in the country.

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