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Italy’s Enel Green Power to build hydro plants in Brazil totalling 102MW

Italian energy firm Enel Green Power will develop three hydro projects in Brazil’s Mato Grosso

Hydropower is the leading renewable energy source in Brazil today, covering 66 per cent of total installed renewable power capacity

Italian energy firm Enel Green Power (EGP) has been awarded energy supply contracts for three hydro projects totalling 102MW in Brazil. For the first time, a photovoltaic (PV) system will also be installed to supply part of the power the three construction sites require.

The three hydro power projects, Salto Apiacás, Cabeza de Boi and Fazenda, are all neighbouring plants and will be located in Mato Grosso state, Mid-West Brazil. EGP has 93MW of hydropower already installed in Brazil of which 38MW belongs to Mato Grosso.

The contracts were awarded through Brazil's first new energy auction in 2013. The news follows the Brazilian government approving a 350MW hydro power project to be built by Brazilian companies in Parana state. The hydro projects contribute to Brazil's total installed capacity of hydropower, which was reported to be the leading renewable energy source in the BRIC country in February this year. EGP firm has been granted 30-year energy supply contracts for the sale of the power the three hydro plants generate to a number of Brazilian distribution companies.

The Italian company said: "EGP will adopt a highly innovative and sustainable approach to the construction of the new plants by feeding ground works also with renewable energy since the very beginning of the works."

To help achieve this, EGP will, in addition, build a thin film solar PV system of approximately 1.2MW to supply part of the power required for the plant construction work. Once the three plants are complete, the PV plant will keep operating, adding its own renewable power to the energy the three hydro plants produce.

Once operational, the hydro facilities will be able to generate around 490GWh per year. The power the plants produce will help meet the country's high energy demand, which is estimated to grow at an annual rate of 4 per cent until 2020, according to EGP.