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Brazil could save some US$80mn by integrating Pará isolated systems sooner

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Brazil could save some US$80mn by integrating Pará isolated systems sooner

Brazil could save up to 402mn reais (US$77.2mn) if it brought forward the integration of 12 of northern Pará state's isolated power systems into the national grid, according to a study by the government's energy planning firm EPE.   

Currently, all of the 21 isolated systems in Pará are supplied by diesel-fired plants that were contracted in a 2016 tender and provide electricity at a price of 1,500 reais per MWh. However, there is a need to hire new supply projects for at least 12 of those systems which are scheduled to connect to the national grid by 2023.   

The EPE study said it would be cheaper to bring forward the interconnection than to contract new plants. Connection works will take 24-48 months, depending on the region, according to local distributor Celpa

Works on isolated systems represent a big chance for projects in the coming years. Brazil has 270 isolated systems in eight states serving over 3mn people, mostly in the Amazon. Boa Vista, in far north Roraima, is the only state capital not connected to the national grid and has a population of over 300,000. Last year, a tender to hire supply for Roraima state contracted nine projects totaling 263.5MW in capacity, requiring investment estimated at 1.6bn reais. 

The country needs to contract 120MW in 2019-23 to supply the isolated systems. One of the main challenges in such areas is logistics since most of them do not have roads and depend on rivers to transport equipment.  

Last month Brazil launched the Mais Luz para a Amazônia initiative, to take solar power to around 70,000 families that make their living from fishing, flour production and the extraction of chestnuts and fruits from the rainforest.  

The full EPE study can be accessed here.  

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