Brazilian innovation centre requests license for offshore wind test site

(OEP) A research, innovation and development centre in Brazil, focused on renewable energy and sustainability, has submitted an application for a test site for offshore wind to the country’s Institute for the Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA).

In the latest update to the map (and the list) of offshore wind projects for which environmental investigation licences have been requested, a few new applications have been added since the December 2022 update.

There are now 74 requests for offshore wind licences totalling almost 183 GW, including one for a test site, for which IBAMA shows would comprise two offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 22 MW.

The application for the test site was filed this year by SENAI Institute for Innovation in Renewable Energy (ISI-ER) for an area off the coast of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte.

“The SENAI Institute for Innovation in Renewable Energy (ISI-ER), from SENAI-RN, requested licensing from IBAMA to deploy an experimental wind farm in Rio Grande do Norte, which will function as an offshore test site. The project is planned for the Porto-Island of Areia Branca”, SENAI’s communications officer told our sibling site in an email statement.

The project details are still being discussed with IBAMA and SENAI says it will release updated information as soon as the licensing process advances.

SENAI’s communications officer also noted that the SENAI Institute for Innovation in Renewable Energy also focused on new technology such as green hydrogen and that it is considered a reference in Brazil for the sector.

As reported last year, many of the projects have been proposed by European developers, including oil & gas majors TotalEnergies and Shell, and Equinor, with the latter two teaming up with Brazil’s energy giants Eletrobras and Petrobras, respectively.

Floating wind developers BlueFloat Energy and Qair have also submitted applications to IBAMA.

Furthermore, green hydrogen is among the plans as well, with Iberdrola’s arm in Brazil, Neoenergia, also applying for environmental investigation licences and signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Rio Grande do Sul to pursue the development of offshore wind generation and a project for the production of green hydrogen.

Applications for environmental investigations for offshore wind projects in Brazil started rolling in increasingly last year as the Government of Brazil issued a Decree which enables the implementation of necessary offshore studies and the identification of areas suitable for the development of offshore wind projects at the beginning of 2022.

Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy is in charge of carrying out the studies, selecting the offshore wind zones, as well as organising subsequent auctions.

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