Enel starts building South America's largest wind farm

700MW-plus complex will mean Enel accounts for 10% of country's total wind capacity

Enel Green Power, the renewable energy arm of the Italian energy giant Enel, started construction of the 716MW Lagoa do Ventos complex in Brazil, which it says will be the largest wind farm in South America and its own biggest globally.

With investments totaling €700m ($794m) from its own coffers, the project is part of the 1.5GW in new wind capacity Enel plans to build in South America under its 2019-21 strategic plan.

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The project will put the company among the biggest wind operators in the country, where it already has more than 800MW of turbines, to exceed 10% of Brazil’s current 14.7GW capacity.

Brazil is one of the most important markets for Enel, where it also has 820MW of PV and interest in hydro and power distribution.

Lagoa do Ventos comprises 510MW contracted at the country’s A6 tender in 2017 through 20-year regulated market PPAs and another 206MW which will deliver power in the non-regulated market. The company didn’t say who the offtaker would be.

The complex is expected to be operational by 2021, two years ahead of the start of the regulated market contract.

Nordex Group will supply most of the turbines for Lagoa do Ventos. At 120-metres of hub height, the machines will be the 3MW or 3.15MW AW125 platform, which is already manufactured in Brazil. In mid-2018 when the contract with Enel was announced, Nordex said it was its “largest ever single order”.

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