Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund and Masdar owner Mubadala, and US investor EIG Global Energy Partners, have submitted plans for a 2.2GW offshore wind farm off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Prumo Logistica, a local group controlled by the two international partners, filed for an environmental license for the Ventos do Açu Offshore Wind Complex.
It would be made up of four 540MW wind farms each with 36, 12-15MW turbines located 20 to 54km from shore at water depths of 14 to 67 metres.
Prumo Logística operates Porto do Açu, one of Brazil’s largest ports from which a significant amount of the country’s crude oil is exported.
Açu is already the main support base for the country's offshore oil and gas operation, with the most productive oil fields located in the deep waters off Rio de Janeiro some 100km to 200km from shore.
Açu harbour is also home to one Brazil’s three projected green hydrogen production centres.
“Ventos do Açu realises one of our strategic objectives: to accelerate business development with a focus on the transition to a low carbon economy,” said Mauro Andrade Prumo’s executive director for business development, who hopes the environmental licence will be granted in 18 to 24 months.
Masdar, the global renewables developer owned by Mubadala, is already active in offshore wind in the UK – including the pioneering Hywind Scotland floating array – and in March this year said it plans to look for opportunities in Asia.
Ventos do Açu joins a clutch of plans for offshore wind off the Brazilian coast that now totals more than 10GW.
Global sector giants Iberdrola, Equinor and Ocean Winds are all also studying plans for large-scale developments in the nation’s waters.
However, questions have been raised over the ability of offshore turbines to compete with cheap and plentiful onshore wind and solar, and there is currently no regulatory base for offshore wind, although at least one bill is going through congress.
In 2019 the government published a roadmap for offshore wind which pegged the Latin American giant's potential at over 1TW.