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CPFL’s 50MW biomass plant starts operation in Brazil

Biomass-based thermoelectric plant Coopcana from Brazil’s energy company CPFL Energias Renováveis begins operation

biomass plant
CPFL Energias Renováveis says the operation of biomass-fired power plants is widely beneficial in the country

Brazilian renewable energy firm CPFL Energias Renováveis has started running its 50MW biomass-based power plant Coopcana. The company has announced the biomass-fired thermoelectric plant has started operations in southern Brazilian state Paraná.

The Coopcana plant is located in the municipality of São Carlos do Ivaí. It was granted authorisation for operation by the National Electric Energy Agency of Brazil.

CPFL has seven biomass-fuelled plants in operation to date, of a total of 320MW installed capacity. This includes newest addition Coopcana.

João Martin, director of engineering and construction at CPFL said: "UTE Coopcana is the third thermal biomass plant of CPFL Renewable that has started operations. Through it, the company has reached 320MW installed capacity of this kind of energy source. And with it, the company strengthens its successful strategy to expand its portfolio."

The company is currently developing several plants across different renewable energy sectors, including hydro, wind and biomass. One of the next plants to start operations will be the Alvorada, a 50MW biomass-based power plant being constructed in Minas Gerais state.

Biomass is becoming an increasingly important sector of renewables, with more companies investing in this area, particularly to move forward biofuel developments. Renewable Energy Technology reported in June Brazil will invest BRL 6.1bn ($2.85 billion) to fund biofuel and renewable chemical technology research.

Mr Manuel Teixeira Souza Junior, general manager of Embrapa Agroenergia, a Brazilian biofuel research institute, said: "We had an increase 39 per cent higher than expected between 2005 and 2010 from this type of bio-electricity production, from burning sugar cane waste."

According to CPFL Energias Renováveis, the operation of biomass-fired power plants is widely beneficial in the country. This is because biomass is an abundant fuel in Brazil, since it can come from other industrial activities as a by-product.