Brazil Could Soon Approve 22 MW Pilot Offshore Wind Project in Rio Grande do Norte

Brazil’s SENAI Institute for Innovation in Renewable Energies (ISI-ER) expects to receive a licence for a pilot offshore wind project in the state of Rio Grande do Norte in the second half of this year.

ISI-ER filed an application with the country’s Institute for the Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA) at the beginning of 2023, requesting an environmental licence for a two-turbine, 22 MW offshore wind project at a site located 20 kilometres off the coast of Areia Branca, near the Port-Island of Areia Branca.

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The project aims to test the offshore wind technology under real operating conditions to gather data that would serve future offshore wind projects in Brazil.

This involves analysing the performance of offshore wind equipment in conditions of the Brazilian equatorial sea, including safety and function, power performance, mechanical loads, noise, voltage support and sag, and power quality, according to SENAI ISI-ER.

The updates on the project were presented by the director of ISI-ER and its regional department SENAI-RN, Rodrigo Mello, at the Brazil Offshore Wind Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 26 and 27 March.

Photo courtesy of SENAI Institute for Innovation in Renewable Energies (ISI-ER)

“We are in a very mature phase regarding the project. We are going to conclude the environmental impact documentation this semester, and we hope that next semester we will have the license in hand from Ibama (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), with whom we have been in permanent discussions about the process,” Rodrigo Mello said.

Work is underway on determining the foundation type and the wind turbine model, as well as on financing the research project.

“The expectation is that, once the environmental licensing process is concluded, these other processes will also be mature,” Mello said, adding that the project timeline depends on these activities.

According to the director of SENAI, besides the pilot project in Rio Grande do Norte, there is a discussion on another, deepwater pilot project in Rio de Janeiro, that would involve different technologies.


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