Aug 20, 2020
Equinor started licensing process with Ibama for the offshore wind farms Aracatu I and Aracatu II, with 2 GW in each and the possibility of expansion to 2.33 GW. The plan is to install the first wind farm on the coast of Rio de Janeiro and the second, between the states of Rio and Espírito Santo.
According to the project, the parks will be installed about 20 km from the coast, at depths between 15 and 35 meters. There will be a total of 320 wind turbines, 160 per wind farm, each with a nominal capacity of 12 MW.
Each wind farm will have an offshore substation for the conversion and flow of energy to the coast. On land, another substation connects to the interconnected transmission network.
These are high-capacity projects. By way of comparison, a total of 6.1 GW of power was installed throughout 2019 in offshore wind farms worldwide, according to GWEC. It is an expanding market, especially in China, but it is beginning to take its first steps in Brazil.
First project of its kind in the country
Aracatu I and Aracatu II are Equinor’s first two offshore wind projects in Brazil. The company has been betting on the solution in several countries in Europe, Asia and the USA.
It is part of the company’s strategy to reduce CO2 emissions set at 8 kg per barrel of oil equivalent produced by the company, originally focused on the production of natural gas and oil in offshore fields, including Brazil – Peregrino (post-salt) and Bacalhau, a pre-salt field delimited in the Carcará area.
Last year, Equinor and SSE won the bid for Dogger Bank’s offshore wind project, in the North Sea region, until then the largest offshore wind farm in the world, which will have an installed capacity of 3.6 GW of energy. The project will require investments of 9 billion pounds between 2020 and 2026.
Also last year, Equinor and Orsted won the New York state bid for the construction of Empire Wind and Sunrise offshore wind farms, respectively. The projects will require investments in excess of US$ 3 billion and, according to the local government, should generate more than 1,600 direct jobs.
The construction of Empire Wind, with 816 MW of installed capacity, will require the installation of 60 to 80 turbines. The project has an estimated investment of around US$ 3 billion and is expected to start operating in 2024. The company expects the project to supply 500,000 homes in the state of New York.
The company announced last year the final decision to invest in Hywind Tampen, which will link the Gullfaks and Snorre fields, an investment estimated at US $ 660 million, with offshore wind turbines. The project provides for 11 turbines with a total installed capacity of 88 MW, which can supply 35% of the annual demand of the Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C platforms.
The company is also studying, with China Power International Holding (CPIH), the development of offshore wind projects in Europe and China.
Neoenergia also bets on offshore wind farms
Neoenergia started licensing three new projects for the construction of offshore wind farms in Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and Ceará. Together, they add up to 9 GW of installed capacity in 600 wind turbines – the largest projects under planning in the country.
There are four parks in each state, divided equally: 750 MW, from 50 wind turbines, four platforms with substations, transmission lines and a substation on land. They consider wind turbines with nominal power of 15 MW each, 245 meters in diameter, 155 meters above sea level.
Ibama’s technical area recommended that BI Energia’s prior license application for the Caucaia offshore wind farm be rejected – in a detailed opinion, which could serve as a guide for this and other projects under development in the country. .
Caucaia is a wind farm designed with 48 offshore wind turbines (12 MW) and 11 semi-offshore wind turbines (2 MW), with a total power of 600 MW, on the coast of Ceará.
The agency’s analysts understood that the Environmental Impact Study (EIA) presented by the company contains a significant degree of deficiency in relation to the items provided for in the terms of reference and, therefore, is not sufficient to analyze the feasibility of a project of this size.