German company Sowitec is going to invest R$5.2 billion in three large renewable energy projects in municipalities in the North Region of Minas Gerais. Two are exclusively from solar photovoltaic sources, in the cities of Presidente JK and Minas do Sol. The third is from a hybrid source, that is, it converges both on the generation of solar energy and on wind power.
The hybrid project, called the Gameleiras Energy Generation Complex, will be installed in the municipalities of Monte Azul, Espinosa, Santo Antnio do Retiro, Rio Pardo de Minas and Mato Verde.
The estimated power capacity of the first phases of this project is 600 MW, non-electric, and 400 MWac (520 MWp), non-solar. In the next phases of the project, capacities should jump to 1,400 MW in wind power and 600 MWac (780 MWp) in solar.
When the system is fully implemented, it will be able to serve, on average, 1.5 million homes per year.
Stages of project development
The solar projects Minas do Sol, in Pirapora, and Presidente JK, in the municipality of the same name, are at an advanced stage of development. All properties are regularized, solar energy is measured in accordance with the parameters of the competent authorities and an environmental installation license issued.
In Pirapora, the project will have the potential to serve an average of 250,000 homes per year, while in Presidente JK there is an estimated 350,000 homes.
The Gameleiras hybrid complex is in the process of regularizing its properties and obtaining an environmental license for future construction. The total implementation of the projects is estimated in two to four years, starting in 2023.
The first stage of the projects is expected to start operating at the end of 2024 and the state government estimates that all phases will be completed by 2027. 400 jobs should be generated during the implementation period.
Benefits for the population
The implementation of the project will bring a solution that has long been desired by the local population. that the Gameleiras complex is located in a region of areas with a history of complicated land regularization processes. Thus, an agreement between the company and the government of Minas should speed up the regularization processes.
According to Edgard Almeida, deputy director of Sowitec, the company is committed to encouraging owners to seek title to all properties.
“We will spread information about this possibility of regularization and provide all technical, legal and financial support to the owners at all stages of the regularization process”, he guaranteed.
The project will be installed in an area of 355 hectares, equivalent to more than 300 soccer fields. For this, the company mapped the areas and estimated the regularization of 130 to 150 properties.
One of these areas belongs to the trader Leandro Soledade dos Santos, 35, who lives in Monte Azul. Married and father of one child, he said that he would not be able to cover the expenses of registering the 31 hectares that belong to him because of the high costs. According to him, this is an old family dream.
“This initiative will help not only me, but also many other owners. We are following everything closely and are very happy with this possibility of leasing”, he explained.
Mine wind potential
In Almeida’s assessment, Minas Gerais has an unexplored potential for wind energy, but it can benefit from the evolution of available technologies.
“Currently there are mechanisms that allow us to take advantage of this potential with longer range wind turbines. The location of the state also contributes to this interest, as the Southeast and Midwest electricity subsystem is the largest consumer of energy in Brazil, and there is a great demand for renewable energy generation projects”, he said.
“The support of the Government of Minas Gerais, through Indi, is extremely important for us to start the projects within the planned time, helping to resolve long-standing obstacles, such as the case of the casting issue. There is also essential support in relation to licenses and tax treatment”, he added.
The analyst at the Investment Promotion and Foreign Trade Agency of Minas Gerais (Indi), Gustavo Pontello Silva, also assesses that the company’s hybrid project will demonstrate the state’s potential in relation to wind energy.
“Indi supports and believes in this project, which is unprecedented in Minas and will be a great milestone. It is a very important initiative for us to advance in this market, proving that it is feasible to invest in wind energy in the territory of Minas Gerais.”
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